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EXCLUSIVE Italy export credit agency can secure $ 567 million loan for Russian Arctic LNG plant – sources

By on November 19, 2021 0

A participant walks past a booth of Russian gas producer Novatek during the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia, October 13, 2021. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov

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  • Arctic LNG 2 faces resistance from EU green lawmakers
  • The LNG plant aims for a capacity of 20 million tonnes / year in 2026
  • Novatek executives traveled to Rome to seek support

ROME, Nov. 19 (Reuters) – Italy’s SACE could secure a loan of around 500 million euros ($ 567 million) for Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, in the middle. calls from EU green lawmakers for export credit agencies to back the $ 21 billion project.

Italian Ambassador to Russia Giorgio Starace said on Thursday that funding would be provided by Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which controls the Italian export credit agency SACE, and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI). Read more

In a letter in May, some members of the European Parliament expressed concern about the potential support of French, German and Italian export credit agencies for Arctic LNG 2 which they said was not compatible with climate goals.

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SACE and Intesa Sanpaolo both declined to comment.

The sources said the insurance deal had not been finalized, adding that due diligence was still underway on the funding, the amount of which had not previously been disclosed.

The plant is expected to produce nearly 20 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year by 2026.

The funding is expected to be approved on condition that an agreement signed by Italy during last week’s COP26 climate negotiations does not prohibit it, the sources added.

Nearly 200 countries, including Italy, which attended the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, have agreed to accelerate the phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

Earlier this year, Novatek shareholders approved $ 11 billion in external financing for the Arctic project, which is expected to start production in 2023.

Leonid Mikhelson, head of the project’s main shareholder, Novatek (NVTK.MM), told Reuters on Friday that Italy provided the highest volumes of equipment and supplies of engineering services among the European contractors involved.

He did not give figures, but said the group behind the project were happy with the cooperation with their Italian partners and were certain of its long-term nature.

In October, the management of Russia’s largest LNG producer traveled to Rome to seek support, while the director of Banca Intesa Russia said he was studying the deal, but no decision had been made. still been taken. Read more

One of the sources said the Italian funding would support two contracts: one for 2.2 billion euros awarded to a joint venture between Saipem (SPMI.MI) and Rönesans Holding AS, and another for 560 million euros. euros to Nuovo Pignone International.

($ 1 = 0.8819 euros)

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Additional reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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