Moscow – RUSAL, a leading global aluminium producer, has announced that it signed and started the drawdown of a syndicated loan agreement for 45 billion rubles with VTB and Gazprombank. The funds raised will be used to finance capital expenditure for the completion of the first start-up complex of the Taishet aluminium smelter (TaAZ).
Following the success of the first Russian sustainability-linked syndicated pre-export finance facility for USD 1bn as part of the loan agreement, VTB will provide 30 billion rubles, whilst Gazprombank will provide 15 billion rubles.
The term of financing is up to 15 years. The funds raised will be used to help finance the completion of the start-up phase of the TaAZ smelter and partial refinancing of investments made in 2020.
“The construction of the Taishet aluminium smelter is one of the priority development projects for the Company, a significant part of the costs of which RUSAL has provided at its own expense. The funds raised under the agreement with VTB and Gazprombank, will be used to finance the completion of the construction of the smelter, which after commissioning will become one of the most environmentally friendly and high-tech enterprise in the global aluminium industry. Thus, together with the launch of the first stage of the Boguchansky aluminium smelter, the construction of TaAZ will help reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions from aluminium production and increase the share of low-carbon products in the Company’s portfolio,” said Oleg Mukhamedshin, RUSAL’s Director of Strategy, Business Development and Financial Markets.
The Taishet aluminium smelter, which is being built by RUSAL in the Irkutsk region, will create approximately three thousand jobs. At this site, the most advanced technologies in the field of ecology, automation of workplaces, and equipment will be used – control of machines and mechanisms from the loading of alumina, to the packaging of finished ingots will be carried out using artificial intelligence, databases and online monitoring.
Aluminium production at TaAZ will be powered by clean renewable hydroelectricity, which will increase the Group’s share of low-carbon high-quality aluminium products on the market.
The design capacity of the first start-up complex will be 428.5 thousand tons of primary aluminium per year and the smelter will commence operations in 2021. The products from the Taishet aluminium smelter will also meet the growing demand for aluminium on the Russian market.
The project provides for the production of primary aluminium (small ingots) and alloys based on rolling slabs and billets (up to a maximum of 80% of total production).