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The Black Sea Trade & Development Bank (BSTDB) will make available US$20mn to Severstal, the second largest steel producer in Russia, for its expansion plans. The project involves the purchase of equipment manufactured by two Ukrainian manufacturers (Novokramatorsk machine-building plant and Dneprotehservice) for the modernisation of the production facilities of Severstal in the Russian Federation. The maturity of the loan is up to seven years.

The BSTDB’s corporate loan will be directed at further improving the quality of Severstal’s specialised steel products and covers the modernisation and the technical upgrading of the production facilities of Severstal.

Situated at Cherepovets in Russia’s north-western Vologda region, Severstal is one of the leading Russian steel producers. Its capacity is more than 10mn tons per year and it ranks number 17 worldwide by steel output. In the results of 2002, Severstal is the largest company in terms of revenues among the Russian ferrous metal producers and the second largest in terms of volume of steel and rolled products. Severstal enjoys a well-diversified customer base in the domestic and international markets.

Including the Severstal project, BSTDB’s approved investments in Russia total more than US$140mn. Over 85% of the bank’s portfolio is directed towards the private sector, including port infrastructure, financial services, SME development and major manufacturing enterprises.

The BSTDB is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The BSTDB headquarters is in Thessaloniki, Greece. With an authorised capital of SDR1bn (US$1.4bn), the bank supports economic development and regional cooperation by providing financing, guarantees, and equity for projects supporting both public and private enterprises in its member countries. Since the commencement of operations in 1999, the BSTDB’s board of directors has approved projects and trade finance operations totalling over US$500mn.