Romanian state-owned lender Eximbank agreed to provide EUR 50mn financing, including loans and guarantees, to local aluminium maker Alro , controlled by Vimetco group of Russian tycoon Vitali Masitki, Ziarul Financiar daily announced. The agreement is part of a broader partnership, EximBank's CEO Traian Halalai commented. The financing is approved for a period of 24 months but can be further extended. Alro is still in loss but invested last year RON 44mn [ EUR 10mn nearly] co-financed by EU funds in an attempt to increase the value added of its products and move into the black. Alro has faced problems when state-controlled Hidroelectrica decided in mid-2012 to terminate the contract under which it delivered power at preferential prices to the aluminium maker. Instead of RON 130 per MWh paid under the preferential contract which had to be valid until 2018, Alro has started paying as of mid-2012 RON 180-220 per MWh, depending on the price of aluminium on the market. As a result, Alro turned to a RON 155mn loss in 2012 from to a RON 228mn profit in 2011. The lower aluminium price on the market [ USD 1,766 per tonne currently from over USD 2,000 a year earlier and over 2,200 two years earlier] and the surcharge for renewable energy are putting additional pressure on the company's profitability.
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