France is extending the state guarantees for the Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects Yamal LNG and the Arctic LNG 2 projects, Russian media quoted France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire as saying after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Maxim Oreshkin in Paris.
According to Le Maire, France will also provide longer terms for loan repayment for the two Russian LNG projects, in which French oil and gas major Total has stakes.
“I confirm that we made a decision to give longer terms for repayment of loans, as for the state guarantees – this is a guarantee of the French state to the Yamal (LNG) project. All participants in this project requested it,” Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Le Maire as saying on Monday.
“This is a success and an economic signal, but behind there is a political signal that we want to strengthen our cooperation in the energy sector based on the Yamal (LNG) project. The same goes to the Arctic LNG-2 project – it is very important for us that the largest number of French companies could take part in it.”
Total holds 20 percent in the Yamal LNG project led by Russia’s Novatek and also participated by Chinese CNPC and Silk Road Fund. Yamal LNG started operations at the end of last year. Operator Novatek said earlier this month that Yamal LNG had reached full capacity at the plant’s three LNG trains.
In May this year, Total expanded its partnership with Novatek with the proposed Arctic 2 LNG project. Total and Novatek signed an agreement under which Total would buy a direct working 10-percent stake in Arctic LNG 2 on the Gydan Peninsula in the north of Siberia.
“Arctic LNG 2 will contribute to our strategy of growth in LNG by developing competitive projects based on giant low costs resources,” Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, said at the time.
The final investment decision for Arctic LNG 2 is expected next year, with first train start up potentially in 2023.