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HydroOGK, RusAl secure $520 mln loan for aluminum plant

MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti) - HydroOGK and RusAl have secured a bridge loan of $520 million for the construction of an energy and metal producing unit, the two companies said in a joint news release.

The three-year loan with an interest rate of 0.825% above LIBOR will be used to construct the Boguchany aluminum plant and complete an eponymous hydropower plant near it in Siberia. Organizers and underwriters are ABN Amro, Barclays, Calyon and Sberbank.

The loan will be refinanced by long-term loan financing, which is already under consideration.

HydroOGK, which controls half of the country's hydroelectric resources, and Russia's aluminum giant RusAl, which produces 10% of the world's aluminum, expect to spend about $384 million on the power plant in 2007 and $192 million on the aluminum plant.

The power plant on the Angara River will have a capacity of 3,000 MW, and the aluminum plant will produce 600,000 metric tons a year and will be the main energy consumer of the hydropower plant.

HydroOGK and RusAl announced the Boguchany deal in May. The project is implemented on a parity basis, and the first unit of the two plants will be put into operation in 2009.

The project is part of a program to develop the local area, which will also include a paper plant, development of gas condensate and ore deposits, construction of a railway and a network of motorways.

Founded in March 2000 following a merger of major aluminum plants in the former Soviet Union, RusAl holds 75% of the Russian market and 10% of the international market. The company exports aluminum to 50 countries and operates in nine Russian regions and 13 countries.

HydroOGK was founded in 2003 and is a 100% subsidiary of Russia's electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES). HydroOGK unites 49 Russian hydropower plants and is a leading generating company of the country.

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