26 Aug 2009 17:39

Nord Stream pipeline partners seeking EUR 3.9 bln in loans

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) - Gazprom and its partners in the Nord Stream gas pipeline project have sent a request for proposals (RFP) to western banks for EUR 3.9 billion in funding, a source in banking circles told Interfax.

"The RFP was sent out earlier this week. The banks have until the beginning of October to decide," the source said.

A first loan of EUR 3.1 billion would mature in 16 years and be secured by guarantees from export credit agencies in Germany and Italy.

The second, EUR 800-million loan, would be unsecured and would mature in ten years.

Nord Stream AG, the project operator for the gas pipeline, which will connect Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, is currently owned by Gazprom (51%), BASF/Wintershall and E.ON Ruhrgas (20% each) and Nederlandse Gasunie (9%).

The company originally hired Commerzbank/Dresdner, Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe Generale as financial consultants. They were joined by UniCredit a few months ago.