Inside potash potentate's $300m yacht

Andrey Melnichenko, the youngest of Russia billionaire’s boys club, he made his first billion at the tender age of 32 and now sits on a cash pile of some $12 billion.

The 42-year old co-founded MDM Bank with Sergei Popov in 1993 and the pair then moved into coal, fertilizer and pipes.

After a split of assets Melnichenko kept 80% of Russia’s no.1 coal firm SUEK (Siberian Coal Energy Company) and fertilizer-maker Eurochem.

Already the phosphate and nitrogen leader, Eurochem, is spending $5bn on two potash mines in Russia that could start producing this year taking Uralkali and the North American giants head on.

Like his fellow Russians, Melnichenko has a soft spot for mega-yachts, but unlike pal Abramovich he did not go for the biggest just the most unique.

Designed by minimalist Philippe Starck, the $300m, 394-foot yacht is named "A" after his wife Aleksandra, a Serbian model and pop singer.

The yacht recently docked in Elliott Bay, Seattle after leaving Ketchikan, Alaska, where it created quite a buzz.

Reporters for the Wall Street Journal had the opportunity to tour the German-made boat in 2010: