Sources close to Russian gas company Novatek now confirm that a deal has been signed with the Silk Road Fund over the Yamal LNG project. With its acquisition, the Fund becomes the second Chinese stakeholder in the Arctic gas project. From before, the CNPC holds a 20 percent stake. Licenseholder Novatek owns 60 percent and French company Total 20 percent.
The entry of the Silk Road Fund will leave Novatek with a narrow majority stake.
The conditions have been agreed and the deal will be signed after a corresponding inter-governmental agreeement between Russia and China is amended, newspaper Kommersant reports.
The Yamal LNG deal with the Chinese investor might be signed during an upcoming state visit of Vladimir Putin to China.
We are now very close to getting the project financing we need, Novatek Board Chairman Leonid Mikhelson confirmed to newspaper Vedomosti. The project consortium has so far spent $10 billion in project developments and secured another $20 billion of investments, he says. Most of that money comes from Chinese banks.
The total price tag of the project is estimated to $27 billion. When in full operation, the Yamal project will produce an annual of 16,5 million tons of LNG. Production is due to start in 2017.
As previously reported, the Yamal LNG project earlier this year got 150 billion rubles from the Russiai National Wealth Fund, following Western sanctions and financial institutions’ subsequent reluctance to grant investments.
The project includes the development of the Sabetta Port, a facility built to handle more than 30 million tons of goods per year. It is to be operational all-year-round, despite the highly complex ice conditions of the Ob Bay.