EBRD extends $15 million for a commercial project in Azerbaijan

EBRD extends $15 million for a commercial project in Azerbaijan
# 23 December 2008 09:49 (UTC +04:00)
The funds will be used to finance an increase in the plant’s capacity to 500 tonnes of iodine per annum through the acquisition of new equipment, the installation of an additional production line and the repair and putting into operation of about 80 wells. The company’s long-term strategy is to become an important regional iodine producer with the capacity to export a significant share of its production.
Azer-Yod extracts iodine brine from deposits located in Neftchala region of Azerbaijan and currently is the sole producer in the country. Iodine is a high value chemical element with relatively few commercially viable sources with 60 per cent of global proven reserves concentrated in Chile. World production of iodine was estimated at 28,000 tons in 2007.
The use of iodine and iodine derivatives include a wide range of medical, agricultural and industrial applications. The demand for iodine has been growing constantly for several years and is expected to continue to grow despite the current economic downturn because most of the applications are in fairly recession-proof uses (such as pharmaceuticals, food additives and x-ray media) for which there are virtually no substitutes to iodine.
Francis Delaey, head of the EBRD Resident Office in Azerbaijan, said: “This project is one of the largest investments by the EBRD in Azerbaijan with a local company. It is fully in line with our strategy for Azerbaijan as it promotes the development of the private non-oil sector especially in the regions of the country.”
Iskender Sadykhov, General Director of Azer-Yod, added: “We will use the proceeds of the EBRD loan to acquire additional production capacity and revamp the infrastructure in line with our strategic plans to become a reliable and respected regional producer of iodine.”
The EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, is supporting the development of market economies and democracies in countries from central Europe to central Asia.
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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED