|By PR Newswire||
|October 10, 2013 02:39 AM EDT||
MOSCOW, October 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko, the main shareholder in Volga Group, believes that Russian energy companies can benefit from working with Chinese firms, and calls on Russia to be open to Chinese investment in return.
"I believe that China will become the world's largest consumer of LPG - switching from coal to gas is a strategic task for the country," Mr Timchenko says in a wide-ranging interview published in today's Kommersant, one of Russia's leading business newspapers. "The sooner Russian companies appear in China, the better it will be for Russia.
"We are going into China because there is a market there. But besides that, China has enormous financial capabilities, and is diversifying its investments around the world. It would be illogical for Russia not to try to make best use of this."
Mr Timchenko also says that he is happy to remain a significant shareholder in NOVATEK, Russia's biggest independent natural-gas producer, which recently signed an important deal giving China's CNPC a stake of almost 10% stake in the prestige Yamal LNG project
"We talk a lot about the need for direct investment. Jointly with Total and NOVATEK, CNPC could invest up to USD 20 billion in Yamal LNG. They have a wonderful team that invests around the world and digs deep into all the details."
NOVATEK plans to retain a controlling stake in Yamal LNG, but is in talks with a number of companies - from India, Japan, Korea as well as China - about selling a further 9.9% in the project, Mr Timchenko says.
"Now we are getting ready to sign the second part of our partnership agreement, which will define the volumes that we will supplies and their obligations as purchaser, and the pricing formula. The Chinese understand that there is no point in insisting on the lowest price for LNG, as they are shareholders in the project."
Mr Timchenko also discusses the investment plans of companies in his Volga Group, many of which focus on infrastructural development in Russia.
"We are interested in building roads and railways, and other sorts of infrastructure. We will participate in tenders that appear in the near future. For example, we are looking at an interesting project to build a short stretch of railway in China. It would come from Tuva region, where there are quite large reserves of coal and many other resources. A short stretch through Mongolia will bring us into China."
Mr Timchenko's companies currently employ more than 100,000 people across Russia, and he plans to continue investing in long-term growth.
"I am not interested in money for the sake of money. As pompous as it may sound, I see my business in terms of social responsibility. By creating jobs and stable, competitive businesses, we are making Russia richer."
A translation of the full interview is available at http://www.volga-resources.com/press/media/
About Volga Group
As one of the largest investment groups in Russia, Volga Group has investments in 18 core companies, located mainly in Russia, whose total consolidated annual revenue in 2012 amounted to some US$116 billion (Volga does not own 100% equity stakes in all portfolio companies).
Volga Group's investment policy is based on value-driven assets that produce consistent, long-term returns with a focus on Russia. It has three strategic core areas, namely energy, logistics and infrastructure. It also has investments in the financial services and consumer goods sectors.
The Group's most significant investments include stakes in Novatek (23%), Gunvor (44%), Sibur (37.3%), Transoil (80%) and STG Group (63%).
For more information:
Anton Kurevin, Volga Advisors, +7-495-777-3898 , firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart Leasor, EM Advisors, +44(0)7703-537721, email@example.com