* CEO says Yamal LNG's timetable not changed
* Russian companies access to Western capital is limited due
(Changes headline, releads, adds detail, quotes)
By Vladimir Soldatkin
MOSCOW, July 31 Western sanctions will force
foreign shareholders to dig deeper in their pockets to fund
Russia's Yamal LNG project, key for Moscow's plans to carve out
a greater share of the frozen sea-borne gas market, Novatek
said on Thursday.
U.S. and EU sanctions, imposed over Russia's role in the
Ukraine crisis, has targeted Novatek among other companies
hitting the firms' ability to secure long-term funding.
Novatek, the main stakeholder in the Yamal project, has said
the measures did not hurt its production and commercial
However, Leonid Mikhelson said the company and other
shareholders of the Yamal LNG project, including France's Total
and China's CNPC, will have to rely more on its own
capital to finance the project because of the sanctions.
"We are able to increase the share of stakeholders'
financing to stick to the timetable," he told a conference call,
a day, after the company posted forecast-beating second-quarter
Investments in Yamal LNG, on the Arctic peninsula under the
same name, have been valued at $27 billion. The project will
help Russia double its share in the global LNG market by 2020
from 4.5 percent currently.
Shareholders have already invested $2.6 billion in the
project, while Novatek has said it would rely more on financing
from Chinese banks.
China Development Bank Corporation, Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China
and China Construction <Bank 601939.SS> have been considering
actively participating in the external project financing
Russia's only working LNG plant is on the Pacific island of
Sakhalin. The plant, controlled by state-owned Gazprom
, produces 10 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a
The sanctions, which also hit Gennady Timchenko, Novatek's
co-owner, forced Total, which had 18 percent in the Russian
company, to stop buying its shares.
Mikhelson said on Thursday that despite the sanctions, Yamal
LNG's timetable has not been changed. It is due to produce 16.5
million tonnes of LNG per year in 2018.
(Additional reporting by Vlasta Demyanenko, editing by Thomas