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Chinese Loan Belarus $1Bln

MINSK — Chinese banks will lend Belarus more than $1 billion to finance industrial and infrastructure projects, the Belarussian government said Tuesday.

China's Eximbank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will provide $654 million toward a $700 million cellulose plant project and $340 million for a road improvement project. The banks will also finance a smaller railroad electrification project, Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Tozik said.

The plant, due to be built in two years, will have the capacity of 400,000 tons per year of cellulose, used in paper and cardboard production. Belarus consumes 200,000 tons a year. "We are discussing the possibility of repaying the loan by supplying extra cellulose to China," Tozik said.

(Reuters)

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