Russian state-owned company RusHydro has received two export credit facilities totalling €190.3mn.
Crédit Agricole and ING arranged a €95.4mn 14-year facility and a €94.9mn 15-year facility for RusHydro, one of Russia’s largest energy companies. Both are guaranteed by the Austrian export credit agency, OeKB.
European officials are set to prepare sanctions against Russia in an effort to put pressure on the Kremlin after the country invaded Ukraine last earlier this month. Diplomats have seen their efforts at calming the conflict fail as Russia continues to tighten its grip on Crimea.
Ferdinand Schipfer, senior director, export guarantees and project underwriting at OeKB tells GTR that Austria is heavily exposed to Russia. Two of Austria’s largest hydro companies are partners with RusHydro, sharing technical development and other resources.
Schipfer says that although sanctions would have a huge impact for Europe in general, OeKB is by law not allowed to partner with nuclear, military, or defence facilities, so the credit agency would likely feel less of the brunt of the fallout of sanctions again the former Soviet state.
“We of course hope the situation will be less confusing, we have a lot of successful measures in steel, pulp, and paper, and consumer goods in Russia,” says Schipfer. He adds that OeKB looks for long-term reliability in the companies it partners with, and so it sees less knee-jerk reaction to events than the capital markets for example.
The deal will be used to replace RusHydro’s current foreign exchange liabilities with longer-dated ones. The facilities will be used to continue modernisation of the Saratovskaya power plant, located on the Volga River.
Austrian exporter Voith Hydro, will replace eight existing old hydro turbines with up-to-date eco-friendly ones. The new hydro turbines will further increase the ecological safety of the power plant.
The transaction was approved in November 2013 by RusHydro’s board of directors.