Sovcomflot and VEB.RF Sign Financing Agreement for Construction of Pilot LNG Carrier at Zvezda Shipyard
SCF Group, the VEB.RF Group and the Zvezda shipyard formally agreed to finance the construction of a pilot LNG carrier at the Zvezda. The carrier will be time chartered by Novatek for Arctic LNG 2 project.
The ice class (Arc7) will enable the LNG carrier to be used for year-round navigation in challenging ice-bound conditions. The carrier is designed to navigate without an icebreaker escort through more than 2-metres-thick ice.
In total, VEB.RF’s Supervisory Board approved financing for 15 carriers of this type. The supply of carriers will be synchronised with the start-up of Arctic LNG 2.
“It is the seventh vessel to be built by the Zvezda under a loan facility signed here. The vessels will be leased by Sovcomflot. VEB.RF’s governing bodies approved participation in the financing of 21 tankers. The growth of the shipyard’s portfolio will enable our partners to keep localising their manufacturing,” VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman Artyom Dovlatov said.
VEB.RF and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed a master agreement for VEB.RF’s participation as a confirmation bank in Afreximbank’s Trade Confirmation Guarantee Programme. The agreement was signed at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum in Sochi.
The document was signed on behalf of VEB.RF by its Deputy Chairman Daniil Algulyan and on behalf of the African Export-Import Bank by its Executive Vice President Amr Kamel.
“Providing export support and promoting Russian goods, work and services to open up new markets are high on VEB.RF’s list of priorities. African countries have tremendous potential to develop economic partnerships with the Russian Federation. The VEB.RF Group now has an anchor partner in this area of cooperation. It is Afreximbank. We’ve joined Afreximbank’s Trade Confirmation Guarantee Programme as it will enable us to use Afreximbank’s guarantees to mitigate the risks involved in trade financing transactions with local African banks,” Daniil Algulyan said.
“By signing the agreement, Afreximbank will strengthen its support for Russian companies with a presence in Africa,” Amr Kamel commented.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a development bank mandated to promote intra- and extra-African trade. In December 2017, Russian Export Center on behalf of Russia became a shareholder of Afreximbank.
The bank is headquartered in Cairo and has regional offices in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The bank’s rating: Baa1 (Moody’s), BBB- (Fitch), BBB+ (GSR). Founded in 1993. Authorised share capital: USD5bn. As at the end of 2018, the bank’s total assets were USD13.4bn.
Russia-Africa Summit: Memorandum of Cooperation Signed by VEB.RF and Russian Export Center to Build Republic of the Congo Pipeline
At the Russia-Africa summit, VEB.RF, Russian Export Center, Afreximbank and Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) signed a memorandum of cooperation to build a pipeline in the Republic of the Congo. The pipeline will connect the deep-water port of Pointe-Noire to the Maloukou terminal and the Lutete intermediary terminal.
“Export support and the promotion of Russian goods, work and services in entering new markets, including Africa, are high on VEB.RF’s set of priorities. The African markets are promising for future trade and economic cooperation and, primarily, increases in Russian exports. Afreximbank has become the anchor partner for the entire VEB.RF Group in this work. As a shareholder of this bank, we were able to reduce risks for the Russian companies. When evaluating projects in African countries, we can also rely on Afreximbank’s expertise,” VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman Daniil Algulyan said.
“The construction of the pipeline in the Republic of the Congo not only will help to resolve most problems of this region of Africa in respect of providing petroleum products, but also will make a considerable contribution to economic growth in several countries experiencing an acute shortage of high-quality and affordable energy resources. Russian companies have gained extensive experience and technologies in the construction of petroleum pipelines in difficult climatic conditions and are pleased to share them with the African partners,” Russian Export Center’s Senior Vice-President Nikita Gusakov commented.
It is noteworthy that, upon construction, the pipeline will be able to transport a wide range of petroleum products, including petrol, diesel fuel and jet fuel. In addition to the Republic of the Congo, the ultimate consumers of petroleum products will be the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, which will have a significant effect on the economic development of these countries.
The implementation of one of the largest infrastructural projects in Congolese history will take three years. The estimated capacity of the pipeline will be 2.1 million tonnes per year, and the period of pipeline operation will be at least 40 years.
USD5Bn Agreement Signed by VEB.RF, Russian Export Center, Sberbank and Gemcorp Capital LLP
At the Russia-Africa summit, VEB.RF, Sberbank, Russian Export Center and Gemcorp Capital LLP signed a framework agreement to create a trade finance mechanism for Russia and Africa. The agreement value is five billion US dollars, reflecting the needs of Russia and Africa for joint financial solutions.
The agreement is aimed at developing cooperation with African countries through the organisation of lending mechanisms for joint foreign trade projects and opens up opportunities for increasing Russian exports through financial support for the supply of Russian goods to the African continent, including to Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other African countries.
“Support for Russian non-energy exports is a priority for the VEB.RF Group. At present, VEB.RF’s portfolio of support for Russian exports to African countries exceeds 2 billion US dollars. We are ready to help Russian companies to promote their goods and services in this market. VEB.RF is currently considering several transport development projects, including railway projects. Projects for the supply of domestic equipment for industrial production are in the pipeline. Our focus areas can include energy, chemicals, mining, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and education. Afreximbank is one of our key partners in the continent,” VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman з Daniil Algulyan said.
Andrey Slepnev, CEO, Russian Export Center: “The mechanism will allow us to adequately mitigate the risks associated with organising trade with countries, including important supplies to the international community. For our part, we intend to involve at least ten countries in this mechanism and, with their help, open a trade corridor to the African continent. For Russian business, this affords a unique opportunity to systematically replicate the project in the region and gain a foothold in one of the most promising and dynamic markets in the world, opening it for high-technology domestic exports.”Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank: “The agreement is aimed at creating infrastructure for promoting Russian exports to African countries and providing financing for the supply of Russian goods to the African continent. Sberbank, together with the VEB.RF Group, Gemcorp Capital LLP and Russian Export Center, has plans to provide financial and advisory support for projects of Russian exporters supplying domestic products from various industries: engineering, agriculture, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals. In recent years, Russian exports to African countries have shown sustainable growth, and due to insurance support from Russian Export Center, loans will become more affordable for Russian exporters and their foreign partners.”
VEB.RF Group to Provide Support for Russian Equipment Exports for Morocco’s Petroleum Refinery
VEB.RF, Russian Export Center and Morocco’s MYA Energy (part of Marita Group) will explore the possibilities of financing the construction of a petroleum refinery in the Kingdom of Morocco with an annual capacity of five million tonnes. The memorandum of cooperation was signed during the Russia-Africa Economic Forum in the presence of Morocco’s Minister of Energy and Mines Aziz Rabbah.
The document was signed by Daniil Algulyan on behalf of VEB.RF, Senior Vice-President Nikita Gusakov on behalf of Russian Export Center and Moulay Youssef Alaoui on behalf of Morocco’s MYA Energy.
“The project will be financed on an inter-bank lending basis. VEB.RF is willing to provide funding for Morocco’s partner to buy equipment and services from Russian counterparties. The direct lender of the project’s company will be a bank of the Kingdom of Morocco,” Daniil Algulyan explained.
“Egypt, Algeria and Morocco are still the largest African countries in terms of total Russian exports. These top three countries account for more than 70% of all Russian exports to Africa, with their priorities remaining to be long-term cooperation with the partners willing to invest in technology while promoting industrial development in the African continent. And Russia maintains a competitive edge here. The African partners can be provided with both technology and expertise in the construction of pipelines and petroleum refineries,” Nikita Gusakov commented.
The refinery will make petrol, Euro 5 diesel fuel, jet fuel, Euro 4 engine fuel and bitumen. At present, Morocco imports about 90% of energy products totalling nearly 10 billion US dollars per year.
MYA Energy is a private company founded by the Government of Morocco for project implementation and support and is part of a multipurpose holding company, Marita Group, engaged in real property development, theme parks, renewable energy sources, cork production and electric vehicles.