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Gazprom Unable To Get Chinese Loan For Huge Gas Processing Plant

Gazprom has not been able to obtain a loan from the China Development Bank for part of the US$14 billion financing the Russian gas giant aims to raise for the construction of its Amur gas processing plant, which will be Russia’s largest and the second-largest in the world, Russian business daily Kommersant reported on Wednesday.  

This year, Gazprom will use bridge loans for the construction of the Amur plant, Kommersant quoted Gazprom manager Alexander Ivannikov—who is responsible for the company’s financial and economic policy—as saying on the sidelines of the European Gas Conference in Vienna.

Ivannikov didn’t specify which bank has extended the bridge loan to Gazprom, but noted that it is neither the China Development Bank, nor Russian banks.

Gazprom, however, needed that bridge loan because it couldn’t reach an agreement with the Chinese bank.

Back in November 2018, Ivannikov said that the Chinese were “very tough negotiators” and “saw risks where even Europeans didn’t see any.”

Gazprom is in discussions with banks as it looks to attract in 2020 project financing of US$14 billion for the Amur gas processing plant, Ivannikov told Russian media earlier this week.

Gazprom has reached agreements with export agencies, which are ready to provide guarantees for US$7 billion, and talks with 27 banks are ongoing, Ivannikov said on Monday.  

Gazprom plans to meet those 27 banks today.

According to experts who spoke to Kommersant, the Chinese reluctance to provide loans to Gazprom could be the result of pressure from Washington. Alexander Losev, chief executive officer at Sputnik Asset Management, told Kommersant that China would not openly do anything to provoke new U.S. sanctions or tariffs on its companies.

Alternatively, according to Losev, Gazprom could finance the Amur gas processing plant project with its own cash flow, but then this would result in lower dividends.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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