Japan Makes Arctic Gas Move With $400 Million Yamal LNG Loan

  • Japan’s JBIC to explore Artic LNG after Yamal loan finalized
  • Novatek hasn’t chosen Artic LNG partners; output seen in 2022

Novatek OJSC-led Yamal LNG, the biggest project to produce liquefied natural gas in the Arctic, will get $400 million in financing from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the bank’s chief said.

JBIC has almost finalized the agreement with the project and plans to sign a memorandum of understanding for strategic partnership with Novatek, which owns a 50.1 percent stake in Yamal LNG, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Tadashi Maeda said Friday in Vladivostok. Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp. each hold 20 percent stakes, and China’s Silk Road Fund owns 9.9 percent.

Novatek plans to move forward with a similar project, known as Arctic LNG 2, after the Yamal LNG development is complete. The company isn’t rushing to choose partners for the new venture, which is seen starting production in 2022, Novatek’s Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson said Friday.

JBIC will consider an Arctic LNG investment only when its Yamal LNG participation is complete, Maeda said Friday. “We are almost finalized for Yamal, and then we’ll move on to exploring the next opportunity of Arctic LNG.”

The loan follows $12 billion in financing the project received earlier this year from the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank Corp. With the JBIC loan, as well as Russian funding, Yamal will secure about $18.8 billion in loans for the $27 billion project.

Yamal LNG aims to produce as much as 16.5 million metric tons of LNG per year from late 2017. It also operates a gas field near the plant with 926 billion cubic meters in reserves.

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