Garadagh Cement OJSC waits for ADB's decision

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 13 / Trend H. Valiyev /

Garadagh Cement JSC waits for a decision of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on joining the syndicated financing of a project to expand and improve the efficiency of OJSC, organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), President of Garadagh Cement OJSC Horia Adrian told Trend.

It was reported that the ADB is ready to allocate from 20 to 40 million euros for the project.

Support for the realization of the project is provided under ADB's policy and programs for Azerbaijan. The main focus is to promote economic growth and development of non-oil sector.

In May 2009 the EBRD Board of Directors approved the arrangement of financing of 170 million euro for this project worth 330 million euros. The main credit (credit A / B) will hit 150 million euros, approximately 50 percent of which will be offered to commercial banks (lenders Class B), and the rest - financed by EBRD. Other 20 million euro loan from EBRD is subordinated class C, additional 30 million euros of subordinated loan will be provided by the founder - Holcim.

Funding is aimed at the construction period from mid. 2009 - the first half of 2011.

The project is expected to achieve significant energy savings by more than 50 percent reduction of energy consumption per unit of clinker production. Garadagh Cement is the largest and the only producer of cement clinker in Azerbaijan.

The EBRD's loan will support the company leading in difficult circumstances in terms of corporate governance and business management. The project is the largest foreign direct investment outside the oil and energy sector of Azerbaijan. It should give a positive effect for other potential investors from the private sector. It aims to attract co-financing of commercial banks in amounts and maturities, not achievable outside the oil sector in Azerbaijan.

Adrian said that output of Garadagh Cement from early 2010 corresponds to the period of last year. According to the plans of OJSC, production volumes will amount to 1,2-1,3 million tons by late 2010.

During modernization and expansion Garadagh Cement plans to increase production of clinker from 2,616 to 4,000 tons per day, as well as reduce the energy by 50 percent to produce one ton of cement.

Garadagh Cement's shareholders are Swiss Holcim (69,4 percent), EBRD and Azerbaijan Investment Company (10 percent), private shareholders (10.6 percent).

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