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IFC and EBRD lend $150 million to Russia’s SUAL Loan will allow major boost in Russian bauxite production for aluminum industry


IFC, Washington, DC
Ludi Joseph

Tel: 202-473-7700

Email:
ljoseph@ifc.org

IFC, Moscow

Nezhdana Bukova
Phone:  +7 (095) 411 7555

Email:
nbukova@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., August 5, 2004 — The International Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, have each signed a $75 million loan agreement that will provide Russia’s privately-owned SUAL group a total of $150 million to boost Russian production of bauxite, the raw material for the aluminum industry.

IFC and the EBRD will each provide a nine-year loan of $45 million, making it the longest credit ever obtained by the Russian metal sector. The remaining $30 million portion of each organization’s $75 million facility is syndicated to international banks under an A/B loan structure. The term of the syndicated portion will be seven years.


The plan is to increase annual bauxite output at SUAL’s Middle-Timan mine, situated 250 km south of the Arctic Circle, to 6 million tonnes from the current 1 million tonnes over the next four years. This will help overcome a major shortage in domestic supplies of bauxite and improve the competitiveness of the Russian aluminum industry as a whole.


This financing supports the first phase of SUAL’s Komi Aluminum project, an integrated bauxite mine, alumina refinery and aluminum smelter complex located in Russia’s northern Komi region.


Peter Woicke, IFC’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the World Bank Group for Private Sector Development, noted that the project could be a milestone in modernizing Russian industry, transforming Komi’s development and employment prospects, and generating important supply opportunities for local businesses. He also noted with pleasure the extensive public consultation on the project being carried out by SUAL.


For the EBRD, the logic of this deal is using Russia’s natural resources as a catalyst to develop the economy and reduce bottlenecks, while at the same time setting high standards of business conduct and improving environmental protection, said Noreen Doyle, the EBRD’s First Vice President.


The IFC-EBRD loan is split into two portions: $100 million for the expansion of the Middle-Timan bauxite mine and $50 million to fund feasibility studies and preparatory works for an alumina refinery at Sosnogorsk, 245 km southeast of the Middle-Timan mine, and feasibility studies for an aluminum smelter at Pechora, 250 km northeast of Sosnogorsk. (Alumina is refined from bauxite and then smelted into primary aluminum.)


The refinery and smelter represent phases two and three of SUAL’s Komi Aluminum Project. IFC and the EBRD are prepared to consider participating in the next phases of the project once the necessary conditions are met.



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IFC’s mission (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.

The EBRD (
www.ebrd.com), owned by 60 governments and two intergovernmental institutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

SUAL Group (
www.sual.com), a vertically integrated business, is among the world’s 10 largest aluminum producers. Its annual production includes mining some 4.4 million tonnes of bauxite, refining more than 2 million tonnes of alumina, producing over 890,000 tonnes of primary aluminum, producing more than 50,000 tonnes of silicon, and manufacturing more than 110,000 tonnes of aluminum products.
EBRD, Moscow
Richard Wallis
Tel: +7095 787 1111
Email: WallisR@mos.ebrd.com