Sodrugestvo Group has been offered a five-year funding facility worth US$250 million, including a US$188 million long-term loan and a US$62 million short-term loan, by the JSC Bank VTB North-West.

A subsidiary of the group, ZAO Sodrugestvo Soya, has been developing a port terminal in the Kaliningrad region, dry bulk storage and liquid bulk storage facilities, and soybean and rapeseed crushing plants with a combined annual capacity of 1.1 million tons. The company says Kaliningrad's port facilities will be expanded to facilitate Russian agricultural commodities' exports to the EU and North Africa.

Last year, the International Finance Corporation acquired a stake of 14% in Sodrugestvo at a cost of US$50 million to complete a specialized agricultural commodities port and the building and operation of soybean and rapeseed processing plants in the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. The total investment in this facility is more than US$400 million.

The company expects a 15% year-on-year increase in the Russian market in 2010, mostly due to additional poultry and pig production capacity in Russia and an increased use of soybean in animal feed.