China lenders provide $12 bln loan for Russia's Yamal LNG project-sources

MOSCOW, April 29 (Reuters) - Russia’s Yamal liquefied natural gas project has secured a loan from Chinese lenders worth $12 billion and denominated in euros and Chinese yuan, according to sources familiar with the deal.

The deal unblocks a project that had been struggling to secure financing after Western sanctions were imposed on Russian gas firm Novatek, the lead partner in the venture, effectively denying it access to Western debt markets.

One of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced, said the loans would be repayable over 15 years and would come from the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank.

The $27 billion Yamal LNG project envisages three liquefied natural gas (LNG) production lines with a capacity of 5.5 million tonnes a year each. The gas the project produces would be exported to world markets.

Novatek has a 50.1 percent stake in what will be only Russia’s second LNG plant. France’s Total and China’s CNPC hold 20 percent each. And last month, Novatek agreed to sell a 9.9 percent stake to the China Silk Road Fund. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Christian Lowe)