American HBK Fund loans LUKoil USD 225 million for construction of oil terminal

LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov and Vice President of the US governmental agency OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) Ross Connelly have signed an agreement on a loan to finance the construction of an oil trans-shipment terminal on the island of Visotsky in the Leningrad Region. The document was signed yesterday as part of the US-Russian energy summit which is currently being held in Saint Petersburg. The document was also signed by Kevin Hudson, managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston bank.

According to the agreement the US private investment fund HBK Fund will loan USD 225 million to Visotsk-LUKOIL-II for a twelve-year period. OPIC and CSFB will act as guarantors for the loan.

'This agreement is quite unique in many ways for our company,' said Mr Alekperov. 'For the first time LUKoil is attracting such long-term loans without having to use export sales as security. OPIC, in its turn, is for the first time financing a project which is 100% Russian. The new oil terminal will allow LUKOIL to significantly raise the volume of oil it exports and also reduce the cost of its transportation.'

The terminal will be capable of transferring 11 million tonnes of oil a year and the first section of the terminal is expected to open at end of 2003 or early 2004. LUKoil has already invested over USD 170 million in the construction of the terminal.

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