Russia 110214 Basic Political Developments

Crescent Investments and Inter Rao UES enter into regional partnership

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Crescent Investments and Inter Rao UES enter into regional partnership

Crescent Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Crescent Group of companies, and Inter Rao UES, one of Russia's power generation and operating companies, have today announced the signing in Abu Dhabi of a Strategic Cooperation Agreement (SCA), by and between Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Investments and Executive Director of Crescent Petroleum, and Boris Kovalchuk, CEO of Inter Rao UES, reflecting a shared determination to jointly expand their activities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, one of the world's most lucrative markets for investments in power generation.

Inter Rao is one of Russia's fastest growing power suppliers and has major distribution assets both inside and outside Russia. Crescent Investments, a subsidiary of the Crescent Group of companies, has interests and experience in various industries, including ports and logistics, aviation, healthcare, mineral processing and private equity. Crescent Petroleum, another wholly-owned subsidiary of the Crescent Group, has been operating as a regional upstream and midstream oil and gas industry player for over 40 years.

These two companies have seen a big future in power generation in the region, with consumption in the MENA growing by double digits per year.

Governments are pouring enormous amounts of capital into generation facilities to keep up with demand, including the region's second wave of IPP projects. The GCC countries alone will invest $160bn to develop 180GW of new capacity by 2019, and Iraq alone is expected to rebuild 14-16GW of capacity in the next five years at a cost of $25bn.

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Investments, sees the right partnership as crucial to grasping these opportunities:"Working with Inter Rao is an important partnership for Crescent Investments, enabling us to catalyze private sector development of downstream gas utilization, supports our affiliate GASCITIES Ltd, and furthermore strengthens our already burgeoning ties with Russian partners in developing the region."

Inter Rao, with subsidiaries of 20 companies in 14 countries worldwide is putting in place an aggressive growth strategy by consolidating its position in commercially-attractive markets in Europe, the South Caucasus, the Far East and Central Asia, and leveraging its local and regional expertise.

Boris Kovalchuk, Inter Rao's CEO, said as much during the signing of the SCA. "For us, this is a key step. With our new and exciting partnership with Crescent, we can broaden our footprint through a series of projects in the MENA region which will be run out of a newly-opened office in Abu Dhabi. With Crescent, and its unmatched history in the region, we have found the right partner to help us continue to grow in this region".

RusAl raises aluminum output 3% in 2010, plans further growth

05:23 14/02/2011

World's largest aluminum producer UC RusAl said on Monday it increased its aluminum output 3% in 2010, to more than 4 million metric tons, and plans further growth this year.

The Russian company said it planned a 2% increase in its aluminum output in 2011.

Rusal also said bauxite production grew 4% in the reporting period, to 11.8 million metric tons. Alumina production increased 8%, to more than 7.8 million metric tons.

MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti)

UPDATE 1-RUSAL sees steady 2011 aluminium output growth

Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:54am IST

* RUSAL says sees aluminium output up 2 pct in 2011

* Board approves rouble-denominated bond issue

* Hong Kong-listed shares up 6 percent, outperform market (Adds details, quotes)

By Alison Leung

HONG KONG, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Russia's United Company RUSAL Plc, the world's largest aluminium producer, said on Monday that it sees steady output growth in 2011, driven by strong demand from China and a rebound in North America.

Hong Kong- and Paris-listed RUSAL (0486.HK)(RUAL.PA) said aluminium production was expected to grow 2 percent in 2011, roughly steady with last year's 3 percent rise to 4.08 million tonnes, with higher output seen at its Siberian smelters.

In Hong Kong, RUSAL's shares rose more than 6 percent in early trading after the company's output forecast, and also after an increased offer from Russian mining giant Open Joint Stock Co Mining And Metallurgical Co Norilsk Nickel's (GMKN.MM) to buy back the 20 percent stake in the nickel company held by RUSAL. [ID:nLDE71A1IO]

"Growth in aluminium demand in regions other than China is expected to be strong, indicating that Western markets appear to have rebounded positively from the financial crisis," RUSAL said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Global demand for aluminium, used in everything from soft drink cans to building construction, would increase 8 percent to 43.8 million tonnes in 2011, with prices expected to remain above $2,500 per tonne, RUSAL said.

Expected higher output at Rusal's Siberian smelters and the planned restart of the Windalco-Kirkvine Works Plant from July, which had been approved by the board of directors, would help lift production this year, it said.

Rusal also said it would increase alumina output, a key raw material in aluminium, by 8 percent this year, with increased production at its Windalco-Ewarton Plant Works in Jamaica, the producer said.

In 2010, alumina production rose 8 percent to 7.8 million tonnes, it said.

In the fourth quarter, Rusal produced 1.05 million tonnes of aluminium and 2.08 million tonnes of alumina 2010, based on Reuters calculations.

During Monday's announcement, RUSAL also said its board of directors had approved a bond issue of up to 30 billion roubles ($1.02 billion), but a final decision on the placement would depend on market conditions.

For statement please click here (Editing by Lee Chyen Yee and Chris Lewis)

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