Russian metals giant Mechel has secured a series of loans from Gazprombank.

The loans total US1bn and are to be spread across a number of the heavily-indebted outfit’s subsidiaries. However, the loans will not increase Mechel’s net debt (which stood at US$9.4bn at the close of 2012).

Instead, says CFO Stanislav Ploschenko, they will significantly decrease the pressure on the company’s liquidity, “and enable us to improve the group’s loan portfolio structure by increasing the period of repaying loans”.

On the steel side, Beloretsk Metallurgical Plant and Urals Stampings Plant have borrowed US5$4mn and US$50mn respectively. Both facilities can be drawn over two years, with bullet repayment to follow.

Yakutugol and Southern Kuzbass Coal Company, both among Mechel’s mining arms, have borrowed US$490mn and US$400mn, respectively. These lines both have drawdown periods of one-year and five-year tenors, with three-year grace periods.

Mechel has a number of large credit lines with both Russian and western banks. GTR spoke to a senior lender at a European bank who suggests that despite the company’s highly-leveraged balance sheet, there is nothing approaching panic in the market about Mechel’s ability to repay.

The Gazprombank loan, it is thought, has no bearing on Mechel’s ability to attract credit from the west. “For a company with operations of this size,” says our source, “you need a lot of lines of credit.”