Black Sea Trade & Development Bank (BSTDB) has provided a secured loan of US$23mn to Rusal Armenal, an Armenian closed joint company which is a subsidiary of the Russian Aluminium Group (Rusal).

The loan has a tenor of seven years and will used to finance the closing stage of a modernisation programme at the Armenal foil rolling plant in Armenia.

“We are pleased to be a part of one of the largest direct foreign investments in the Republic of Armenia,” says Mikhail Jernov, BSTDB’s vice-president, banking. “The modernisation of Armenal will result in a transfer of modern technology and know-how, contribute to the development of the Armenian manufacturing sector and foster the expansion of international trade in the Black Sea Region. The project is important to BSTDB also because it represents an example of cooperation between two member states of the bank – Armenia and Russia.”

Armenal was created in 2000 on the site of the Kanaker Aluminium Smelter as a joint venture of Rusal and the government of the Republic of Armenia to produce aluminium foil and packaging materials. Since January 2003, the plant has been wholly owned by Rusal. Armenal is now undergoing full modernisation.