30 Jan 2018 17:01

Nord Stream 2 hopes to begin talks soon with ECAs on participation in project financing

VIENNA. Jan 30 (Interfax) - Nord Stream 2 hopes to hold negotiations with export credit agencies (ECAs) on their potential participation in project financing for construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Nord Stream CFO Paul Corcoran told reporters.

"We began the discussion with the ECAs in the second half last year in order to understand whether they would support the project. We hope to begin formal negotiations with them later this year," he said.

The project's budget totals 9.5 billion euro, including interest expanse. Initial plans were for the project partners (Gazprom , Engie, OMV, Shell, BASF and Uniper) to cover 30% of expenses and for project financing to provide the other 70%. The project participants provided financing last year: 1.45 billion euro from Gazprom and 1.4 billion euro from the other partners.

The project's financial model also stipulates provision by the consortium participants of a bridge loan for 6.65 billion euro (including interest) until project financing is received (until the end of 2019 at the latest), as well as deficit financing in the event project financing is insufficient.

In a situation where project financing is delayed, the partners have to finance the project from their own investment programs. Gazprom's investment program is increasing to a record 1.3 trillion rubles in 2018. The peak investment level will limit the company's ability to pay dividends to shareholders.