Intesa Bank is afraid to finance the construction of Nord Stream-2

To participate in project financing to the Italian bank is hampered by the threat of sanctions.
The Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo can take part in the project financing of the Nord Stream-2 project only if the threat of spreading sanctions to the bank is ruled out, said the chairman of the bank's board Antonio Fallico in an interview with RIA Novosti. "We are waiting for the decision of the European Commission on this matter. While it is not accepted for various reasons. If the decision is positive, I mean the nonproliferation of sanctions on this project, Intesa Sanpaolo is ready to participate in it, "said Fallico.

If the sanctions on the project for the construction of a new export pipeline by Gazprom are extended, Intesa "will not be able to figure in the project, like many other potential participants," Fallico added. The management of the bank expects that clarity on this issue will appear in the near future.

The Nord Stream-2 project involves the construction of a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The design capacity of the pipe is 55 billion cubic meters. m per year, Gazprom plans to complete its construction by the end of 2019. The cost of construction of the offshore section (two lines of 1224 km each) is estimated at $ 9.5 billion. Contracts worth about $ 5.8 billion have already been signed, the company's website says. - operator of the Nord Stream 2 AG project.

Gazprom's partners in the Nord Stream-2 project are Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall. In April 2017, they signed a financing agreement, under which European companies pledged to provide up to half the cost of the project in the form of long-term loans (about 950 million euros each), if the attraction of project financing is difficult. So far, Nord Stream-2 has received about 30% of financing - about 2.9 billion euros. The company attracted 1.425 billion euros from European partners in the form of loans, Gazprom made a commensurate amount.

To complicate the attraction of project financing for "Nord Stream-2" may threaten the proliferation of participants to US sanctions. The bill signed on August 2, 2017 by the US president is directed, in particular, against Russian export pipelines.

In addition, in November 2017, the European Commission introduced a draft amendment to the Third Energy Package, which, if approved, could also put the project economy into question. Nord Stream 2 AG does not exclude that in this case the company can apply to the court. "If a change in the existing EU law leads to negative consequences for us, there may be a question of compensation," Mattias Warnig, Nord Stream 2 CEO, told the German edition of WirtschaftsWoche.

In addition to financing the Nord Stream-2, Intesa does not exclude participation in another Russian gas project, the Arctic LNG-2, Fallico said. The project "Novatek" involves the construction of a plant for liquefying gas at the resource base of the Morning deposit. The capacity of the plant can be about 20 million tons per year. The cost of the project can be about $ 20 billion, Novatek's chairman Leonid Mikhelson said, but the company has not yet announced the final investment decision.

"At this stage, the project (" Arctic LNG-2 ") is not very developed, it is meant as an already ready financial transaction, but we are already working diligently on it," Fallico said. Intesa took part in the project financing of Yamal LNG. For the construction of the first Novatek LNG plant, the Italian bank granted a loan of 750 million euros under the guarantees of Italian and French export credit agencies, Interfax reported.