US sanctions are beginning to directly affect the project Nord Stream 2. The head of the Austrian OMV Rainer Seele officially recognized that the project participants are unlikely to be able to attract the planned volume of bank financing. This will not stop the construction of the gas pipeline, but it means that European companies and Gazprom will have to spend more of their own funds or seek money in Russia and Asia. According to analysts, for Gazprom this will not be a problem, unlike some of its western partners.
Participants of Nord Stream 2 will have to invest more of their own funds in the project than originally expected, said the head of the Austrian OMV Rainer Seele. OMV financially participates in the construction of the pipeline together with Shell, Engie, Uniper and Wintershall, the only shareholder remains Gazprom. "In Nord Stream 2, we, apparently, will have to revise the financing situation, but the obligation to bring the project to the end is preserved. I proceed from the fact that the part of financing at the rate of 70% - we probably will not be able to fulfill this part on such a scale, "Mr. Seele stated at a press conference" New US sanctions - possible consequences for German business in Russia. " This is the first official recognition of the impact of new US sanctions on the project.
The cost of Nord Stream 2 should be € 9.5 billion, 70% of which was supposed to be attracted in the form of bank financing, and the rest - as a contribution of shareholders. First five European companies with 10% shares were to become shareholders of the project, and the remaining 50% remained with Gazprom. As a result, due to the opposition of Poland, the partners of the monopoly in the capital of the project structure did not enter, but gave financial obligations comparable with the previous scheme. According to the agreements concluded in April, five Western companies will allocate € 950 million in bridge loans at 6% per annum, that is, they will pay half the cost of the gas pipeline. Already allocated € 285 million, that is, in total € 1.4 billion, which corresponds to the contribution of Gazprom to the authorized capital of the project company.
The project participants expected that it would not be necessary to use most of the bridge loan, as it would be replaced by cheaper bank financing. However, in early August, the US passed a law on new sanctions against Russia, which, in particular, prohibited investments in Nord Stream 2 with a volume of more than $ 5 million per year.
Although the law as such does not impose sanctions, but only gives the US president the power to do so, the possibility of their adoption scares American and European banks from participating in project financing.
Therefore, according to Mr. Zele, the consortium members intend to intensify negotiations with Asian and Russian banks. A successful example of the organization of project financing, despite the sanctions, is - "Yamal LNG" last year received $ 15 billion from Russian and Chinese banks.
In principle, for Gazprom, even a complete lack of project financing is not a problem - in addition to its contribution as a shareholder, the company could replace the bank money with € 1.9 billion. "Gazprom currently has about $ 13 billion on its balance sheet, $ 8.5 billion, in addition, the company has a low debt load, and it can easily attract money from the market, "- explains Andrei Polishchuk from Raiffeisenbank.
But, the interlocutors of Kommersant in the market say, problems can arise for Europeans: for Wintershall and OMV, the amount of investments in the project is comparable to the annual EBIT, and Uniper is still in a difficult transition period after the restructuring of the business. Uniper already in April admitted that to finance Nord Stream 2 they will need a "partner". Rainer Seele assured that there is "a close dialogue with national banks and governments".