Ukraine's Naftogaz gets Chinese backing for $1 bln in loans and investment

KIEV, April 2 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s state oil and gas firm Naftogaz has secured Chinese backing that will open the way to as much as $1 billion in loans and investments, the group said on Tuesday.

Naftogaz said insurance cover from China’s Sinosure would initially be used to allow it to borrow about $160 million for its gas production division to buy Chinese drilling equipment and services.

“At the second stage, another $800 million is planned for additional Naftogaz group projects that will be agreed upon with China in the near future,” Naftogaz said, noting the deal with Sinosure did not require a sovereign guarantee.

Naftogaz is Ukraine’s biggest gas producer and its output accounts for around 75 percent of the country’s total gas production. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk Editing by David Holmes)