Krauze’s Polnord to build in St. Petersburg

The Polish-owned construction company Polnord, a subsidiary of Prokom, owned by mogul Ryszard Krauze is set to commence on a large scale construction project in St. Petersburg.
Gazeta Prawna reports, Polnord signed a preliminary contract with the Moscow-based company OAO Ruskie Samocwiety late last week. The St. Petersburg construction project is estimated to be worth $800 mln.

The Polish-owned company along with its Moscow-based partner will construct an office complex of approximately 250 square meters, with offices later being made available for lease. The land upon which the offices will be constructed is owned by the Russian OAO Ruskie Samocwiety.

The building plans show the office building construction will be situated in the center of St. Petersburg at a major communication crossroad close to the major train station and the metro station. The area is also close to the shopping district hub.
Both parties to the project have agreed on a three-month period in which architectural projects will be completed. The time allocated will also be spent on finalizing financial plans for the construction as well as carrying out market research for the investment.

Polnord, a subsidiary of Prokom is owned by Ryszard Krauze, a Polish software mogul who made his fortune in the early nineties. Krauze, originally from Sopot, began his software business in 1991, beginning with an accountancy program which was bought up by state-owned mining companies for their bookkeeping requirements.

Prokom later won the tender in 1993 for setting up software for the state-owned news agency company Ruch and by 1996 for Telekomunikacja Polska. Prokom was responsible for establishing a software program that would manage the TP business structure.
Later projects included software for ZUS (the state-owned social security agency) and PZU (the insurance company). Krauze has often been labeled as a monopolizer of state tenders. Critics believe Krauze has been responsible for various activities involving corruption and bribing officials and politicians in order to win project tenders.

Should a final decision be made as to the St. Petersburg project, a new company will be established to manage the project.
The co-partners will be the Russian OAO Ruskie Samocwiety and a new subsidiary of Polnord with 50 percent of its shares in the umbrella company. A final announcement will be made by June 2008.

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