MOSCOW, RUSSIA – Russia’s VTB bank has purchased a grain elevator in the southern part of the country and plans to expand its storage capacity, according to Interfax news agency.

The state-controlled bank bought the Ipatovsky Bakery Plant located in Russia’s southern region with a storage capacity of 75,000 tonnes.

VTB, Russia’s second largest bank, has become the largest operator of domestic grain infrastructure after it purchased a number of assets in 2019 and 2020.

Yuri Soloviev, first deputy chief executive with VTB, told Interfax on Nov. 2 that to achieve its goal of becoming a full-scale grain trader it needed to add grain storage facilities to its portfolio.

 “This is our first elevator,” he said. “We will continue to increase our storage capacities.”

Andrey Kostin, the chief executive of VTB bank, told Reuters in October that it plans to remain in the grain business for the next three to five years and then exit.

In 2019, VTB purchased 70% of Mirogroup, a grain trader, and acquired the remaining 30% in July 2020.