Gas


As in the previous year, Sakhalin Energy ranked first in the Environmental Transparency Rating of Russian Oil and Gas Companies. The international producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), owned by Gazprom, Shell, Mitsubishi and Mitsui outperformed in terms of openness on environmental topics, a clear strategy on environmental responsibility and with concrete measures to decrease the production’s impact on the environment. On the second and third ranks followed Zarubezhneft and Exxon Neftegas Ltd., which also confirmed their leading positions of the previous year.

The rating was conducted for the sixth time already. From the very beginning, CREON Group supported the project as a strategic partner, whereas WWF (Russia) takes responsibility for the methodology and the National Rating Agency carries out the calculation based on publicly available sources. In 2019, the project was part of the EU funded People for Nature project. The government of the Russian Federation supported the event as well: The presentation took place in the government’s Analytical Center in Moscow. This time, 20 oil and gas companies were subject of the rating.

In addition, five companies received diplomas in additional categories: Lukoil was granted for its top performance in terms of environmental transparency, Rosneft was honored for encouraging the most constructive dialogue regarding accidents and controversial situations. For its leadership in mitigating environmental impacts Surgutneftegaz received a diploma, whereas Gazprom Neft was granted for its most dynamic growth of oil recovery. Tatneft has shown the most rapid advancement in the rating, which led to a diploma as well.

CREON Group chairman Dr. Fares Kilzie reminded: “We launched this project in 2013, which turned out to be revolutionary for the industry. The concept we are promoting is a forerunner not only in Russia, but globally. It is hard to acknowledge, but the results of our activity will not be visible today or tomorrow. At present, we are witnessing the changes in the Russian oil & gas business, and the massive efforts of the government and the companies are evident now, alongside a significant and inevitable transformation towards sustainable development. And we as a Group are proud of being part of the process.”

Aleksey Knizhnikov of WWF Russia confirms a significant increase of the companies transparency: “The modern economy is rapidly transforming and today investors and consumers value both the economic component of transactions and the social and environmental responsibility of businesses, which is important for gaining a competitive edge,” points out the WWF Russia Head of the Program for the Business Environmental Responsibility. “For the sixth year in a row, we have seen increasing progress in the companies’ disclosure of environmental performance. According to our estimates, public nonfinancial reporting of oil and gas companies has showed the fastest development in Russia over the last  years and is becoming the basis for dialog with stakeholders on reducing environmental impacts,” he says.

The robustness of the method and the accuracy of calculations were confirmed by the FBK Grant Thornton audit and consulting group. The company performed selective tests of the criteria and analyzed the accuracy of the scores (levels) against the method, returning a favorable opinion. Vladimir Skobarev, Partner and Head of Corporate Governance and Sustainability at FBK Grant Thornton underlined: “The role of sustainability ratings as important tools for external assessment of corporate social responsibility is increasing every year, while the practice of independent confirmation of the ratings themselves, in turn, is a tool to increase trust in them.”

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About:

The Rating of Environmental Responsibility in the Russian Energy Sector has been launched in 2014 as an initiative of the CREON Group and WWF Russia. The project’s objectives were to conduct tangible and comparable information on environmental activities of oil and gas companies. Thanks to the publicity effect of the rating, some influence could be exerted on the companies in Russia, which partly increased transparency, decreased pollutions or developed an environmental risk-management-system. In 2017, the rating was first presented in Europe, also a separate rating of the Kazakh oil and gas companies was conducted.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia works with state institutions, companies, experts and local communities to change people’s attitude to nature. The priorities of WWF’s various activities in Russia include the protection and preservation of biodiversity, sustainable forestry and fisheries, the «green economy», environmental governance, climate and energy.

CREON Capital is a fund management company based in Luxembourg. It manages the CREON Energy Fund, which actively invests in energy projects. Green technologies, renewable energy and logistics are among the focus areas of investments. The private equity fund also invests in the processing of gas and the construction of a liquefied natural gas infrastructure.

 

You may DOWNLOAD the rating brochure HERE:

 

For further information please contact:

Maria Dymenko, md@communicationz.ru, +7-985-135-1009

 

Pictures:

Creon Group chairman Fares Kilzie congratulated representatives of Russian oil and gas companies with outstanding results in terms of environmental protection and transparency.

 

Sakhalin Energy ranked first in the rating. The company’s director for environmental protection Andrey Samatov (right) received the diploma from Creon Group chairman Fares Kilzie.

 

The rating on “Environmental Transparency of Russian Oil and Gas Companies” has been conducted for the sixth time in joint cooperation between Creon Capital partner Creon Group and WWF Russia. It aims to push the energy companies forward in order to increase measures on environmental protection, which is increasingly happening.


The Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona is one of the leading networking platforms for businesses and politics linking Europe and Eurasia. On October 24-25, the event was held by the Italian “Cognoscere Eurasia” initiative for the 12th time, as usual gathering more than 400 leaders from all over Eurasia in the city’s beautiful old town. Creon Capital chairman Dr. Fares Kilzie attended a panel discussion on the role of natural gas in helping Europe’s energy security and climate change goals, alongside with Gazprom Deputy Chairman Elena Burmistrova and Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Management Board of Novatek.

Prior to the debate, Igor Sechin, President and CEO of Russia’s leading oil producer Rosneft, had set the tonality for the day. He turned out to be very confident that oil and gas will remain key sources for energy production throughout the upcoming decades, hydrocarbons will still account for more than 50 percent of the energy mix in 2030 despite the growth of renewables. For this time period, he forecasts a 20 percent growth of oil demand due to the increasing consumption in Asia, first and foremost in India. But Sechin underlined: “We at Rosneft show that oil production is possible in a socially and environmentally responsible way.”

The Creon Energy Fund is committed to gas-related projects, which are a cleaner alternative to Diesel and gasoline. However, improving the entire energy sector’s ecological responsibility maintains an objective for the fund managers of Creon Capital, as chairman Dr. Fares Kilzie stated. “We consider investments in green technologies as being commercially viable and reasonable. Therefore, we aim at co-investing with companies of the energy-sector in projects to slow down climate change.” As one example he named the Fund’s attempts to develop a market for small-scale LNG and CNG, which ensures that vessels and trucks can be fueled with cleaner gas instead of Diesel and heavy oil.

This seems to be in line with the “bullish” expectations of Novatek’s Leonid Mikhelson. Russia’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas recently corrected its capacity plans for 2030 upwards: Instead of 57 million tons, the company now plans to produce and export 70 million tons annually, up from 19 million tons this year. Similarly, also Gazprom’s leader Elena Burmistrova presented the audience ambitious plans to improve the gas giant’s position on the LNG market, including small-scale infrastructure projects on the domestic hydrogen market.

Both Mikhelson and Burmistrova made clear that natural gas will play inevitably a major role in reducing the climate impact of the energy sector. Creon chairman Fares Kilzie, however, put more emphasis on renewable energy, which is deployed increasingly even in hydrocarbon-based countries such as Kazakhstan and Russia. The Fund joint-venture ISS Global Solutions these days completes one of the largest transportation projects for windmills going from China and Germany to Kazakhstan.

Kilzie finally pointed out that even hydrocarbon producers have to think day-by-day how to become “greener”: “As we are running a private equity fund in Luxembourg, we know perfectly how banks and regulators increasingly pay attention to environmental and social responsibility of companies and their projects. We recognize rapidly growing demand for ‘green bonds’, but emitters have to fulfill strict preconditions in terms of environmental responsibility”. For the Eurasian energy companies this would means, that they must become “best-in-class” in terms of environmental protection.

Pictures:

Fund chairman Dr. Fares Kilzie (center) with Gazprom 1st Deputy Chairman Elena Burmistrova (right) and Novatek chairman Leonid Mikhelson on a panel discussion about energy security and climate change.
Fares Kilzie concentrated his speech on the need to invest more in green technologies as even gas suppliers are forced by banks and customers to meet ambitious ESG objectives.

 

Novatek Leonid Mikhelson explained his plans to quadruple his LNG production volume to 70 million tons p/a until 2030.

 



Relations between Moscow and the EU have hit their lowest level in decades. But feedstock industry expert Fares Kilzie says the bloc’s current energy diversification attempts will not leave Russian firms stranded.

There’s hardly anyone who knows more about the German petrochemical industry’s enormous need for resources than Russian entrepreneur Fares Kilzie. In the early 1990s, he was based in Germany helping companies such as Bayer and Süd-Chemie secure petrochemicals from Russia.

After 2001, Kilzie went back to Russia and eventually founded the Creon consultancy helping European companies understand the Russian energy market. 2016 saw the establishment of the Creon Energy Fund in Luxembourg, which provides guidance for investing safely in Russia.

DW met up with Fares Kilzie in Berlin to talk about the future of Russian energy supplies to Germany and the European Union as a whole.

DW: Talking about EU-Russian business relations these days, also in the energy and feedstocks sectors, is a bit like walking through a minefield, following Russia’s falling out of grace with the West over its perceived role in the Ukraine conflict, would you agree?

Fares Kilzie: In my business life, relations between Russia and the EU have never been worse than they are today. But I have to add that we experience this bad state of relations mainly in Brussels, and we don’t see it in Berlin. Russia and Germany are still having a very constructive dialogue even while relations between Russia and the EU in general are in a bad state. Dialogue between Moscow and Berlin is strong, despite heated arguments being exchanged sometimes.

Russia has been a very reliable supplier of hydrocarbons for Germany all along, concerning both natural gas and oil. As for oil, Rosneft has been one of the major oil suppliers in Germany, and Gazprom the main provider of gas — maybe Novatek will become a third important player with LNG [liquefied natural gas].

I gather from your answer that you don’t believe the good times for Russian oil and gas suppliers to the EU are coming to an end. But don’t increased attempts in Berlin and Brussels to diversify supplies and thus reduce dependence on Russian sources tell a different tale, especially when it comes to natural gas deliveries?

When it comes to debates about reducing the amount of pipeline gas coming to Germany from Russia, I was one of those who expected that to happen even before the crisis in relations with the West started. I was in contact with German feedstock buyers, and they were telling me as early as the 1990s that they would have to diversify their supplies. So I know this approach very well. I believe it’s a good one, because risks have to be spread when it comes to feedstocks.

Many analysts insist Germany — and other recipients in the EU — could have easily done without the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. What’s your take on this?

Touching on the current Nord Stream 2 controversy, Russia in this project is only assuming the role of a technical partner, meaning it lays the 1,200 kilometers of the pipeline to Germany and supplies the gas, but any decisions beyond that have to come from Germany. In my eyes, the project is very important for the chemical industry in Germany. Parts of the industry are already migrating from Germany as there are at times not enough feedstocks for the industry. In order to create new products and jobs, you also need large amounts of gas at a reliable price — and you need it now, not in five or 10 years. Russia is offering this opportunity of getting more by 2020.

But isn’t it rather risky for public joint stock company Gazprom to keep focusing almost exclusively on its pipeline business?

In Russia, I’ve been know as a critic of Gazprom for exactly that. Many see Gazprom as the holy cow of Russia, generating a big share of the country’s income, so that seems to make it untouchable. There have been a lot of changes in Gazprom’s management structure over the past two months and there’s more to come. We’ve always said in the Russian media that Gazprom is inefficient, not using the latest technology and moving very slowly toward the gas refining business.

I never shy away from the fact that this sort of miscalculation could lead to trouble in the future. Only time will show how it will fare by focusing only on its pipeline business and not expanding its activities to LNG. But we’ll only have an answer to this in five or six years from now. My personal opinion is that they made the wrong decision also by trying to convince the Russian president that the shale gas story in the US would be ending soon — it’s not ending. On the contrary, it’s taking geopolitics to another level.

In the second quarter we expect to have equilibrium between the price for pipeline gas and that for liquefied natural gas, which is very good for the market.

According to the European Commission, the EU’s gas demand is around 480 billion cubic meters and is projected to remain stable in the coming few years before going down as a result of the bloc’s climate protection policies and the increased use of renewables. So, aren’t today’s investments in gas deliveries shortsighted anyway?

Let’s face it, gas is one of the most environmentally friendly products that we have at the moment, with relatively low CO2 emissions. It’s very easy to handle. We’ll see a lot more electrical cars in the future; we’ll see more wind farms and solar energy facilities. Right now, though, the German feedstock problem is that neither wind nor solar can replace the physical hydrocarbon to produce ethylene for example.

As soon as there are reliable pipeline supplies, the chemical industry will start investing. BASF (Wintershall/DEA) and others are trying to secure the feedstocks as soon as possible so as not to lose out in the competition with Asian or even US producers. Several million jobs are affected, directly or indirectly, as we’re talking about construction chemicals, paint chemicals, chemicals for the auto industry and so on. Half of any ordinary car is made of petrochemical components (polycarbonate, polyethylene etc.), so you have a wide range of products that are needed here.

Private Russian energy company Novatek is looking to establish a foothold in Europe including Germany where it aims to open a regasification facility in Rostock by 2022 – and this against the background of the German government having promised the US administration it would build two LNG terminals of its own to also receive American gas …

Novatek is also looking at the Spanish market, the Italian and Moroccan markets, and it’s looking to build regasification facilities in order to supply gas to customers, who have no access to pipeline gas. Rostock, with its long-term trade ties with St. Petersburg, can play a major role for the German economy. It’s a gateway to Germany. To have a regasification facility there, coupled with reliable gas supplies from Novatek to serve the German market is a nonpolitical thing. It’s only a small-scale regasification unit.

The Novatek activities in Germany can’t really be seen as a threat to any other LNG supplier because of the low volumes to be involved.

For 25 years, Fares Kilzie has been helping European companies doing or wanting to do business in Russia. He’s the founder of Creon Group, an independent investment and management association focusing on the energy and chemical industries in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The Creon Energy Fund invests in Russia together with European technology partners.

The interview was conducted by Hardy Graupner.

Link: https://www.dw.com/en/expert-russia-to-remain-crucial-feedstock-supplier-despite-spat-with-brussels/a-48213356



The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and CREON Group have announced results of the fifth Environmental Transparency Rating of Oil & Gas Companies operating in Russia. The announcement ceremony took place at the Analytical Center of the Government of the Russian Federation in Moscow on the 30th of November.

The Rating project has been implemented with support from the United Nations Environment Program and with participation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia and the Ministry of Energy of Russia. Just as in previous years, the rating process has been executed by National Rating Agency, while the Luxembourg-based fund management company Creon Capital participated as a partner in the project.

The results of the rating in 2018 both affirmed yesteryear leaders’ standings and revealed new prominent up-and-coming participants. As in the previous year Sakhalin Energy (Sakhalin-2), a joint venture of Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, ranked first, followed by Zarubezhneft. The latter company appears in the top 3 for the first time. Exxon NL achieved the third rank.

For the first time, special diplomas were awarded to winners in each of three Rating categories: Surgutneftegaz and Zarubezhneft shared the first rank in terms of ‘Environmental Management’; Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) scored the best result in ‘Environmental Impact’; and LUKoil convinced the rating agency regarding their ‘Information Disclosure’.

The high importance of the study was underlined by Denis Khramov, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation: “The public initiatives of the Worldwide Fund for Nature such as the Transparency Rating of Environmental Responsibility of Oil & Gas Companies operating in Russia represent an important input in improving ecological policies in the industry, and are also increasing the public availability of environmentally significant information”.

“Recently we have witnessed increasing support and attention to our rating from relevant government bodies such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia and the Ministry of Energy of Russia, which confirms the importance of ratings in the system of public administration of environmental risks and impacts”, said Alexey Knizhnikov, Oil & Gas Program Leader, WWF Russia. “At the same time, it should be noted that two of four Russian state oil and gas companies, namely NK Rosneft and Zarubezhneft, have been increasingly involved in the rating’s development compared to previous years. Their representatives have always been participating in methodology development and progress review meetings”.

Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, also addressed his support to the rating’s initiators: “Improving social and environmental responsibility of companies in the oil and gas sector in Russia is becoming an increasingly pivotal task in the field of public administration and in achieving better competitiveness of Russian business. The non-government initiative to conduct the rating has proven its effectiveness within the five years since the project started. The dialogue between oil and gas companies and the society on environmental safety issues should be actively pursued with this project”.

Head of CREON Group und Chairman of Creon Capital, Fares Kilzie, underlined in his speech: “CREON Group in general, and Creon Capital in particular, fully support and promote the idea of “responsible investments”, which promotes the rapidly improving investment climate in Russia. As an investment fund we identify outstanding business opportunities, when Russian oil and gas companies improve their ecological footprint. We are ready to contribute in financing sound projects such as advanced APG processing and LNG as an alternative energy source to replace traditional sources fuels such as Diesel and heavy oil. In this context, I would like to mention NOVATEK as a successful endeavor, that grow to the largest Russian LNG producer. This company pioneers with the implementation of large-scale LNG, which may change the whole industry’s structure.

DOWNLOAD the rating brochure (in English). 

Picture: Representatives of the top-3-ranked companies Sakhalin Energy, Zarubeshneft and Exxon (front row), accompanied by the rating team and the winners of three sub-categories – Surgutneftegas, KTK and Lukoil.

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ABOUT THE RATING

The “Environmental Transparency Rating of Oil and Gas Companies” operating in Russia is an independent project, invented by the Fund’s initiator Creon Energy in 2014. More than 30 Russian and international enterprises are being rated annually regarding their environmental policy. The rating is conducted independently by the Russian Rating Agency, according to a sophisticated methodology developed by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia. In 2018, Creon and WWF also started to rate oil and gas companies in Kazakhstan, a global rating will be conducted soon.

Learn more about the ratings history (external link)

OBJECTIVES

For a long time the mostly state-owned oil and gas companies in Russia were closed shops. Reports on environmental sustainability – missing. Manuals how to deal with hazardous situations – out of date. Recultivation projects for oil spills – what for?

In the past couple of years the situation has changed tremendously: Even large state enterprises such as Rosneft started to report on environmental responsibility in detail. Lukoil installed solar-based power generation on their oil production plants. And the gas associated with the process of oil refining has increasingly been processed or transferred to pipeline systems instead of being burnt.

The rating aims to accompany this process towards more environmental responsibility. The disclosure of information has significantly increased within the five years the rating has been conducted. Companies’ ecologists discuss the ratings results and best-practice examples. The product’s presentation annually turns out to be a gathering of specialists working for competing companies in Russia. But all of them try hard to get the oil and gas production “greener”. In 2018 the rating’s results have been presented in the Analytical Center of the Russian government, representatives of several ministries attended the event.

Learn more about the rating’s objectives (external link)

METHDOLOGY

The methodology behind the rating of oil and gas companies in terms of environmental transparency and responsibility has been developed in 2014 and reviewed since then on an annual basis. Every year all Russian oil and gas companies are invited to participate in a round table discussion with WWF specialists to discuss the details and propose changes. Large companies such as Rosneft and Lukoil contribute to this discussion constructively just as much as smaller producers such as Salym Petroleum.

According to the metholodology the rating agency assesses the oil and gas companies along the value chain from hydrocarbon production, processing to transportation. The amount and quality of disclosed information is crucial for their placement in the rating, but also the way how comapnies deal with accidents, whether they inform about it or deploy a harzard prevention and risk management system. Also the producers measures to process associated petroleum gas (APG) during the refinery process matter, some still burn APG instead of using it.

Learn more about the methodology (external link)



The Sultanate of Oman is one of the most stable countries in the Middle East. Since the country’s political opening in 1971, the government has maintained constructive relations with all its neighbors, and Oman plays an active role in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Thanks to the abundance of oil and gas, economic output has tripled since the turn of the millennium, though, with the collapse of the oil price the growth to slow down two years ago.

Today, Oman is open to international cooperation, as evidenced by exploration projects with partners such as Shell and Total in the oil sector. In gas processing, the sultanate plans to increase gas liquefaction capacity to meet growing global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The Creon Energy Fund is ready to participate in such projects as an equity partner. That is why a delegation of Creon Capital headed by Chairman Dr. Fares Kilzie on October 28 and 29 visited Oman’s capital Muscat.

The focus of the fund’s delegation trip was a visit to the “Gas & LNG Middle East Summit” hosted by Wisdom Events. The high-caliber participants included, among others, the Minister of Oil and Gas, Dr. Ing. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy and Harib Al-Kitani, CEO of Oman LNG. Both underpinned their commitment to gas processing projects, which should help to strengthen and diversify the country’s economic growth sustainably. Creon Capital Chairman Fares Kilzie expressed in a panel discussion that the Luxembourg Creon Energy Fund will contribute to the necessary investment in LNG infrastructure.

On contrary to the oil sector the gas processing industries need equity partners, when it comes to the realization of new projects, Kilzie emphasized: “The global hydrocarbon market is changing. Chinese companies, for instance, approach us on monthly basis to ask for solutions how to import more LNG. To serve these demands, we need to invest not only in large-scale but also in small- and mid-scale LNG plants.”

These smaller tonnages with a capacity of usually less than 1.5 million metric tons per annum, are dedicated to decentralized heating plants, truck fueling stations and so-called bunkering operations, the refueling of ships with LNG. If the transport and logistics sector operate to a large extend on LNG-basis instead of Diesel and heavy oil, emissions could be reduced tremendously. In this context Dr. Kilzie argued: “We consider gas as the greenest available energy source for the transport sector.”

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For further information please contact: Leila Nettaf, T. +352 26 49 79 2203 (nettaf@creoncapital.lu)

Pictures:

Dr. Fares Kilzie, Chairman of the board of Creon Capital, debating with David Kalife, CEO of Oman Oil Marketing.
Florian Willershausen, Director Business Development, Marketing and Communications of Creon Capital, speeking on investment opportunities in the LNG sector.

 



As much as some may be surprised in the West: ecology and Russia – this combination is no longer a contradiction today. Not only since the Year of the Environment took place in 2017, the world’s largest country moves slowly but visibly in the right direction in terms of environmental issues: The burning of associated gas in the oil production is decreasing, landfills have been closed, recycling is being promoted by the state actively. Above all Russian oil and gas companies have to offer something, which could boost the EU-countries leap towards a cleaner economy structure: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a fuel for decentral regions and the transportation sector.

Ecology and Russia – this combination also becomes relevant for companies. Therefore, CREON Group invites to the second Berlin Conference this year. Businessmen and experts from both Russia and Germany will discuss how environmental responsibility can be shaped and improved further. Which solutions can German companies provide for Russian partners who want to tackle the topic? And conversely, can Russian companies contribute to a “greener Europe” by delivering Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)? These discussions will be supported by the German Eastern Business Association (OAOEV) and the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce (AHK).

During the conference we will present the results of our environmental responsibility rating in Russia’s oil and gas industry. For the fifth time, WWF Russia and CREON conduct the independent rating of major oil and gas companies regarding their efforts and transparency in terms of environmental responsibility: Who renatures oil-contaminated areas? Who is flaring on associated gas, who is not? How transparent are corporations in reporting on ecological issues? In the meantime, the rating has been established as a credible, objective and recognized tool to push the oil and gas companies towards on a more sustainable course. The initiative to conduct Global rating of the 32 biggest world oil and gas companies will be also presented in Berlin.

The aim of the conference is to promote ecological responsibility as a common topic for Germans and Russians. Therefore, we are pleased to welcome high-ranking politicians from both countries, who find common interests in the field of ecology beyond the well-known political dispute topics. Above all, however, entrepreneurs from East and West should be brought together: In Europe’s East, a market is now growing with its awareness of the problem, for which Germany particularly could supply “green” technologies. CREON has set itself the goal of connecting these networks.

 

Venue and Timing

Wednesday, December 05th 2018

Time: 13.00 – 19.00

Hotel Marriott, Berlin (Potsdamer Platz), Inge-Beisheim-Platz 1, 10785 Berlin

 

DOWNLOAD the program here

MORE INFORMATION you may find on our website.



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.

For further information please contact:
Leila Nettaf
T. +352 26 49 79 2203
E. nettaf@creoncapital.lu



Since political relations between Russia and the West deteriorated, the bilateral partnership between Moscow and Beijing has gained importance. At least since 2014, politicians from both countries have increasingly and resolutely proclaimed a closer alliance of the major powers. Consequently, a more comprehensive cooperation between the countries, was also claimed at the major bilateral China-Russia Conference, which took place on May 29 and 30 in Beijing. As a partner of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), CREON Group supported the summit in China’s capital. Almost 300 delegates participated in the event, which was organized by the China Strategic Cooperation Council with Russia and the Institute for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Both organizations belong to China’s Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

The title of the top-class conference promised optimism: “China and Russia: cooperation on the way to a new era.” Dai Bingguo, a former deputy of the People’s Republic of China and co-chairman of the Chinese-Russian Committee for Friendship, Peace and Development, praised the common strategic interests of both countries. Igor Ivanov, Russia’s former foreign minister (1998-2004) and current chairman of the RIAC, was pleased with the intensification of the relationship in recent years, the importance of which should not be underestimated in an increasingly unstable world. Politically, according to the quintessential high-level discussions, China and Russia became recently closer than ever before.

And economically? There is still room for improvement, as representatives of both countries openly explained. Li Sin, senior academic researcher at the academy and Director of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, noted “an absolutely insufficient level of direct investment” from the Chinese side in Russia and vice versa. The reason for this: “There is a lack of mutual trust and understanding.”

Yevgeniy Nadorshin, Chief Economist of the investment company “FK Capital” said, he was missing “equal relations”, so he came to a similar conclusion. Chinese were wrong if they try to explain their low investments in Russia with existent investment barriers: “China has already overcome much larger investment hurdles in Africa years ago.” Instead, it should be time to admit: “We do not trust each other, that is not a question of customs barriers.” Andrey Klepach, Chief Economist and Vice-President of Vneshekonombank (VEB), found reasons for the mutually low level of foreign direct investments (FDI) also in Russia: “We must allow investments in the extraction and processing of natural resources and large-scale infrastructure projects”, the former Vice Minister of Economic Development demanded. It appears to him that China’s investment activity in Russia is too limited to the role of a creditor.

CREON had already systematically collected information about the FDI-influx for the conference one year ago: $ 62 billion, the total amount invested by Chinese financial institutions in the Russia’s energy sector. This rough figure has not changed significantly for a year. And it continues to apply that 98 percent of China’s FDI flow into the commodity and energy sectors.

China, it seems, still considers Russia as a pure raw material supplier. For Fares Kilzie, the founder of the Creon Group, this is a dangerous perception: “If the oil price moves up or down harshly, there will be conflicts between supplier and customer. Investors should swiftly diversify their economic relations with Russia.” However, this does not necessarily mean to invest in completely different industries instead: “Diversification can be achieved easily by just processing raw materials into products in Russia in order to export them to China, ” Kilzie suggested. Projects dedicated to the processing of gas to methanol or agrochemicals, for instance, would be completely free of sanctions while being economically very attractive. The Creon Group offers Chinese as well as European partners to accompany such projects as a co-investor. There are a lot of projects to be realized.



The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia and the Luxembourg-based fund management company CREON Capital have agreed to create a «Global Transparency Rating of Oil and Gas Companies». The survey will involve 30 global commodity producers from around the world, it will be focused on their efforts to strengthen their environmental responsibility. Therefore, environmental strategies will be evaluated as well as concrete measures towards more environmental protection in a sector, which is critical for nature and human being. This will be the first worldwide study, which provides transparent and comparable data and information on environmental responsibility in the global oil and gas industry. WWF Russia and CREON Capital signed a declaration on May 25 during the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg.

The rating will be presented on several events later this year. Alexey Knizhnikov, WWF Russia’s head of the Environmental Policy program in the Fuel and Energy Complex, said: «The rating will allow us to assess on an annual basis the efficiency and transparency of oil and gas companies in terms of environmental responsibility: the development of renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels plays a role as well as activities to conserve biodiversity, the companies’ programs for environmental protection and renaturation.» In the past four years, when WWF and CREON conducted the rating for Russian companies, this format had become a platform of constructive dialogue between energy companies and civil society, Knizhnikov remembered: «Now we want to expand this platform to a global level, and we invite the industry to join the dialogue on ecological responsibility.»

Dr. Fares Kilzie, Chairman of CREON Capital, commented: «Our role as an investment fund is that of the co-investor in environmentally responsible projects, such as the processing of associated gas and the establishment of supply chains for LNG as an environment-friendly alternative to heavy fuel oil and diesel in the transport sector.» For him as a Fund manager it were not only possible and necessary to realize «green» projects, said Kilzie, but also economically reasonable. «We therefore support our partner WWF in every respect in order to promote the topic of ecological responsibility in the global oil and gas industry.»

 

About us:

The Rating of Environmental Responsibility in the Russian Energy Sector has been launched in 2014 as an initiative of the CREON Group and WWF Russia. The project’s objectives were to conduct tangible and comparable information on environmental activities of oil and gas companies. Thanks to the publicity effect of the rating, some influence could be exerted on the companies in Russia, which partly increased transparency, decreased pollutions or developed an environmental risk-management-system. In 2017, the rating was first presented in Europe, also a separate rating of the Kazakh oil and gas companies was conducted.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia works with state institutions, companies, experts and local communities to change people’s attitude to nature. The priorities of WWF’s various activities in Russia include the protection and preservation of biodiversity, sustainable forestry and fisheries, the «green economy», environmental governance, climate and energy.

CREON Capital is a fund management company based in Luxembourg. It manages the CREON Energy Fund, which actively invests in energy projects. Green technologies and renewable energy are among the focus areas of investments. The private equity fund also invests in the processing of gas and the construction of a liquefied natural gas infrastructure.

Press Inquiries:

CREON Capital
Florian Willershausen
Director BD & Marcom

Tel. +352 621 235 126
E-Mail: fw@creoncapital.lu
www.zs-rating.ru/

 

Pictures:

Florian Willershausen (CREON Capital, left) and Alexey Knizhnikov (WWF Russia) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, stating that both organizations will conduct a Global Transparency Rating of Oil and Gas Companies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Several German cities plan to ban diesel-powered vehicles from city districts – further bans will follow throughout Europe. Stricter sulfur and carbon dioxide limit values on the North and Baltic Seas, as well as later in the Mediterranean, are forcing the ship-owners to make extensive retrofits. And so, the diesel gradually fades from roads and sea routes.

LNG could benefit from it. The burning of liquefied natural gas produces only a fraction of the pollutants compared to diesel, gasoline or heavy fuel oil – and the range is greater. But it lacks the value chain – from liquefaction to transport fueling the entire supply-chain is missing, preventing the fuel’s final breakthrough in the gas station business. How this can be achieved was a subject of the recent LNG conference organized by Wisdom Events in Hamburg.

Wisdom gathered the who-is-who of the industry: representatives of ENI, Elengy, Gas Natural Fenosa, Uniper, Fluxys, Linde subsidiary Nautricor, Baker Hughes and NASA were present to discuss the chicken egg problem: If the decrease of LNG in large quantities is not secured, nobody will run a gas station. As long as LNG prices fluctuate, a freight forwarder will shy away from switching its fleet to LNG. Without the critical mass of demand, an LNG supplier will not offer the gas on long-term contracts with reasonable pricing.

Creon Capital is ready to invest in projects along the value chain for small and mid-scale LNG through the Creon Energy Fund. “We believe in strong medium term growth in this segment,” said Florian Willershausen, BD Director of the Luxembourg Private Equity Fund. “Banks are hesitating to finance because of the high volatility in the market. As a consequence, an equity partner like us is more than ever needed to realize the projects.” Creon Capital is currently evaluating several potential LNG projects and technology providers in Europe.