Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 to Receive $9.5 bn in Financial Support

Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 (liquefied natural gas) project is set to receive all the planned external financing, as foreign lenders have reportedly pledged to provide about $9.5 billion in financial support, The Daily Times reported.

The long list of lenders includes Chinese and Japanese banks as well as European credit and insurance firms. Asian peers are reported to have the most generous offers, with the China Development Bank providing $5 billion and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) offering $2.5 billion.

French state investment bank and credit agency Bpifrance and German credit insurance firm Euler Hermes are looking to provide $700 million in credit finance and $300 million respectively. Italian Export Credit Agency SACE plans to put $1 billion into the project, while an unnamed Russian bank is reportedly considering a $1.5-billion investment.

If all the foreign backers of the massive energy project stick to their financial pledges, Arctic LNG 2 will receive the external funding its developer initially hoped for. Russia’s biggest privately owned natural gas producer, Novatek, which stands behind the project, earlier said that it wants to attract between $9 and $11 billion in external financing.

Earlier this month, Russia’s biggest lender, Sberbank, announced that it was ready to provide more financial support for the Arctic LNG 2 than it previously did for another key Novatek project, the Yamal LNG. Sberbank’s commitment to the Yamal project, which already supplies foreign buyers with Russian LNG, amounted to €2.7 billion ($3.2 billion).

Novatek’s second plant for liquefying gas in the Arctic region has drawn the interest of several foreign companies, including those from China, Japan, and France. Chinese partners – China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Company (CNODC) – took a 10-percent stake each, while similar deals were secured by France’s Total and Japanese consortium Mitsui & Co (Mitsui) and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC). The plant is expected to be launched in 2022-23, producing 19.8 million tons of LNG per year.

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