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Gazprom's partners in Nord Stream-2 may revise financing mechanism

The CEO of Austrian oil and gas company OMV stressed that the partners on the project are going to fulfill their obligations under the agreement

MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. The European partners of Gazprom on the Nord Stream-2 may revise the financing mechanism of the project because of sanctions, CEO of Austrian oil and gas company OMV and President of the Russian-German foreign trade chamber, Rainer Seele said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference "New US sanctions - possible consequences for German business in Russia" he said:

"Of course, in the Nord Stream-2 project we will probably have to review the situation with financing, but the commitment to complete the project is still there. I mean that the financing by 70% - apparently we won’t be able fulfill it on such a scale, but the project management, obviously, will now look for other opportunities for financing."

"In particular, we will check if we are able to comply with the requirements of export financing agencies. This will also help us with financing. We will need to assess the consequences of sanctions on this project," he said.

At the same time, Seele stressed that the partners will most likely have to "look more at Asian and Russian banks, and think less about banks in Europe and the US" (regarding the financing of the Nord Stream-2 project.)

"Of course, we did not wish that. We will have to work with Asia to finance such projects, "he said.

The head of OMV also added that partners, if necessary, can use their own capital. "In case of a very bad scenario and none of banks gives a single euro, we may have to finance the whole from our own funds," he said.

Seele stressed that the partners on the project are going to fulfill their obligations under the agreement.

About project’s financing

In July, Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline construction project, received funds from five European companies totaling 324 mln euros.

In April 2017, Gazprom and five European companies - France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV, British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall signed an agreement on the new financing model for the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project.

The agreement on deficit financing provides for loans of up to 6.65 billion euros in case of insufficient attraction of project financing. This amounts to 70% of the total project costs at the rate of EURIBOR + from 5.75% to 6.75% per annum (depending on the amount of financing). Negotiations on a new model of project financing had been conducted since August 2016.

Under the agreement, Gazprom remains the only shareholder of Nord Stream-2 AG company and the five European companies pledge to provide long-term financing in the amount of 50% of the total project cost which is about 9.5 bln euros. Thus, the contribution of each company will amount to 950 mln euros.

According to the statement made by Shell, each company will provide a long-term loan facility for 285 million euros, which is expected to be used in 2017. In addition, funds of up to 665 million euros will be provided together with short-term and long-term loans, and guarantees.

The Nord Stream-2 pipeline is expected to start in 2018 and to be completed at the end of 2019. The pipeline is set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The new pipeline will double the capacity of the first stretch and will basically follow its route.

Swiss Nord Stream-2 AG was established for the planning, construction and operation of the gas pipeline, which now belongs entirely to Gazprom.