by Arthur Yernjakyan
Rosneft Russian oil company has expressed an intention to invest nearly $500 million in construction of a new rubber plant in Armenia, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia Iosif Isayan told reporters, Wednesday.
He said that the Russian company has announced such intention recently, in the course of negotiations with the Armenian delegation in Sochi. He said that the new plant will be built in the area of Nairit Plant CJSC. (Nairit is the only producer of chloroprene rubber in the CIS. However, it has been idling since April 2010 for financial problems. The Plant's current debt is $130 mln- editor's note.) Deputy minister said that the new plant will be producing styrene-butadiene-rubber which is highly in demand in the world market and is used in the manufacture of eco-tires.
Isayan said that after accession to the Customs Union, the Armenian market will become more attractive for Rosneft Company, as a legislative opportunity for tax-free trade will be created. To note, on 25 December 2013, Rosneft, L.L.C. PIRELLI Tyre Russia, and Rosneft Armenia signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Yerevan. The Memorandum envisages creation of a styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) production joint venture in Armenia.
The fixed assets of Nairit Plant and its principal shareholder Rhinoville Property Limited were transferred to Interbank as a result of non-redemption of a loan. The 70 mln USD loan was provided in 2006 against security of the Plant. The latter received the loan for 5 years, i.e. till late Dec 2011, at 12,5% p.a.