Despite sanctions imposed by US-authorities on Russia, construction of large infrastructure projects continues. Recently Novatek opened the second of four production trains on Yamal peninsula, freezing natural gas down to 164 degrees below Celsius to get it transportable. Next year the capacity of 17,4 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be reached, but even before this the new Russian energy giant Novatek is widely expected to make an investment decision on a second LNG-factory worth of more than 18 billion Euro. Other huge projects worth dozens of billions are planned or under construction along the Baltic shore and in the Russian Far East.
However, it remains difficult for foreign investors to enter large infrastructure projects such as the gas processing plants or the railway corridor Moscow-Kazan. An obvious reason is that companies themselves hesitate to invest due to sanctions-related risks and uncertainty. But they might be encouraged to invest if governments simplified mechanisms to issue state-guarantees. Creon Capital works closely with the Association of European Businesses (AEB) to achieve progress on this matter.
Several investment projects are stalled because it takes too much time to issues state-guaranties, which are usually being granted to smaller or highly secured projects only. This means in fact that the government does not issue them. Even governmental institutions such as VEB and its subsidiaries require tough preconditions, which are difficult to fulfill. Therefore, the influx of FDI remains limited and both European and Chinese investors hold back their capital to finance projects.
Creon Capital proposes the Russian government to increase its efforts to ease the conditions for state-guarantees, which must include bureaucratic processes, financial preconditions, due diligence, monitoring and decision-making procedures. The existing institutions of industrial development such as VEB and its subsidiaries shall expand their instruments to include a wider range of economic sectors and increase the minimum amount of funding for single projects.
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