RUSSIA: Vnesheconombank, Eurasian Development Bank and Nomos-Bank have agreed a US$560m loan to ICT Group towards the US$800m development of Tikhvin Railway Car Building Plant, which is due to start production in 2010 on a former Transmash site in Leningrad oblast.

Vnesheconombank and EDB are each proving US$215m for buildings and plant, while Nomos-Bank is providing US$130m to import equipment.

'Raising of a credit for TVSZ construction in the conditions of difficult economic circumstances means that our project is still topical for the country,' said Nikolai Dobrinov, Vice-President of ICT, a finance and industry group founded in 1993 and encompassing more than 20 companies including Nomos-Bank, Titran-Express and ICM. 'Crises pass and go, but modernisation of the Russian economy should be carried out.'

The 220 000 m² TVSZ plant will have foundry, machining, wheelset and paint shops, with a planned workforce of 3 500 producing up to 10 000 wagons a year. Heavy castings will also be produced for external customers.