Sovcomflot Nets USD 340m to Finance Arctic Shuttle Tankers

Russia’s Sovcomflot Group and Sberbank CIB have signed a 14-year USD 340 million credit facility agreement to finance the construction of three Arctic shuttle tankers for the Novy Port project, operated by Gazprom Neft.

Novy Port is one of the largest oil and gas condensate deposits on the Yamal peninsula in Russia. The vessels will serve as part of project infrastructure designed to enable year-round shipment of crude oil from an offshore loading terminal in the Gulf of Ob. The commercial production from the field will start in 2016.

The transaction involves Sberbank Europe AG, a subsidiary bank of PJSC Sberbank.

“This is the first example of the bank’s long-term financing of a project implemented by Sovcomflot Group. The signing of the credit facility agreement creates an important precedent for further development of shipping industry financing by Russian banks. With this new financing Sovcomflot will have raised a total of over USD 900 million of long-term debt finance from commercial banks and export credit agencies in the course of 2015,” Nikolay Kolesnikov, Chief Financial Officer of Sovcomflot, said.

“Sovcomflot is the leader in the operation of high ice class heavy-tonnage vessels in the Arctic and has many years of experience in raising asset-backed financing in the international market,” said Dmitry Kazvini, Head of Transport and Infrastructure Department at Sberbank CIB.

SCF specializes in hydrocarbon transportation and has a fleet of 143 vessels with a combined deadweight of about 12.4 million tonnes. A third of these vessels have a high ice class. Sovcomflot supports large energy projects in Russia and around the world such as Sakhalin-1, Sakhalin-2, Varandey, Prirazlomnoye, Novy Port, Yamal LNG, Tangguh, and Peregrino.

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