The Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal (Kyiv) has suspended the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure’s order No. 16 of January 21, 2020, that approved the results of the concession tender for the Kherson commercial seaport.

The press service of the court announced this to the Interfax Ukraine news agency, the CFTS portal reports.

“The application to take measures in this case was upheld,” the court’s press service said. However, the text of the court order has not yet been published in the register of court decisions.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure is already preparing a statement regarding this court decision.

According to the press service, the relevant lawsuit was filed by Kherson Seaport Special Company LLC (a consortium formed by Ascet Shipping and Global Grain), which wants the court to declare the decision to prevent the company from participating in the concession tender unlawful and cancel it.

According to information from the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure, Kherson Seaport Special Company LLC was not allowed to participate in the phase of disclosure of financial proposals during the concession tender for the Kherson seaport.

The court decided to suspend the Ministry of Infrastructure’s order pending its decision on the appeal.

The court also prohibited the Ministry of Infrastructure and the concession tender commission from taking any action to complete the concession tender for the Kherson seaport.

As reported earlier, the Risoil-Kherson company won the concession tender for the state-owned Kherson commercial seaport. Risoil-Kherson is a consortium of Petro Oil and Chemicals (Georgian Industrial Group) and Risoil S.A. (Switzerland). The Georgian Industrial Group owns a 60% stake in the consortium and the Swiss company 40%.

In total, four companies participated in the concession tender for the Kherson Commercial Seaport. They are Busserk Liman İşletme Loj. Hizm. Ltd.ŞTİ, a Turkish stevedoring company; Kherson Seaport Special Company LLC, a consortium consisting of Ascet Shipping (40%) and the Ukrainian grain trader Global Grain LLC (60%); The Risoil-Kherson LLC consortium, which consists of Petro Oil and Chemicals (60%), which is part of the Georgian industrial Group, and the port operator Risoil S.A. (Switzerland) (40%); Ukrmorport LLC, a consortium that includes PJSC Kremenchug River Port (10%) and the Yuran LLC DP YUROL subsidiary (40%), which is linked to the Odesa seaport’s operator Brooklyn-Kiev and the Justice and Law LLC law firm (50%).

The winners of the first concession tenders in the Ukrainian port industry (the Kherson and Olvia seaports) were presented on January 31. The founder of Risoil S.A., Shota Khadzhishvili, announced during the presentation that the Kherson seaport would be developed into river logistics hub with a modern river fleet.

Commenting on the court’s decision to suspend the concession tender, Khadzhishvili wrote on Facebook, “This does not bother us much. The consortium that was disqualified from the tender went to court to demand cancellation of the tender… As I understand it, Global Grain seems to be one of the participants.”