EBRD mulls investment in major Siberian region

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering investing in the development of Siberia's mineral-rich Krasnoyarsk Territory, the organization's deputy director for Russia's corporate sector said Monday.

KRASNOYARSK, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering investing in the development of Siberia's mineral-rich Krasnoyarsk Territory, the organization's deputy director for Russia's corporate sector said Monday.

Eric Rasmussen said the EBRD policy focused on the development of regions and the bank was interested in projects in infrastructure, transport and communal services.

The Krasnoyarsk Territory, which is about five times the size of Iraq, is receiving major investment in infrastructure and industrial projects, Rasmussen said, adding that the EBRD could cooperate with local authorities.

A delegation of the EBRD executive directors arrived in the Krasnoyarsk Territory Sunday to study local investment projects, where Deputy Governor Edkham Akbulatov told the European representatives that the region had unique energy and mineral resources.

"The Krasnoyarsk Territory concentrates the country's main reserves of platinum-group metals and copper and nickel ores," Akbulatov said. "It is home to 10% of Russia's high-quality forest and 26% of the country's coal reserves," he said.

The deputy governor said the region, which is home to metals giant Norilsk Nickel, was also developing lead and zinc deposits and mining manganese ores and gold. A total of 25 oil and gas fields have been opened in the region, he said.

Akbulatov also said the territory, which is an economic donor region, could also tap its hydro energy potential of more than 20 million kWt.

Investment in the Krasnoyarsk Territory has risen 62% in the past three years compared with 36% across Russia. Investment through bank loans has grown five-fold. In 2005, the region registered a record investment growth of more than 36%, the deputy governor said.

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