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VEB to issue $2 bln loan to Rosneft for Tuapse refinery upgrade

DAVOS, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian state-run corporation Development Bank (VEB) has announced plans to grant state oil company Rosneft [RTS: ROSN] a $2 billion loan for an upgrade of the Russian south's largest refinery.

"The Development Bank plans to take part in financing the modernization of the Tuapse refinery," bank CEO Vladimir Dmitriyev said on Thursday, adding that the plans included raising the enterprise's capacity and enhancing oil refining infrastructure.

Dmitriyev did not specify when the loan agreement would be signed. He did not rule out further cooperation between the bank and Rosneft on other projects.

Rosneft is implementing an upgrade program for the Tuapse oil transshipment complex in two stages slated to last until 2012.

The oil refining volume will eventually grow 140% to 12 million tons annually (241,640 bpd) from the current 5 million tons per year (100,690 bpd) by 2010, and the oil transshipment volume will grow 110% to 19 million tons per year (382,600 bpd) from the current 9 million tons per year (181,230 bpd) by 2012.

Rosneft's production in 2007 exceeded 100 million tons (735 million bbl) in 2007.

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