June 24, 2008

Transneft to Loan Spetsmornefteport Kozmino 50.2 Bln Rubles As Part of Espo Project

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) - Russian pipeline operator Transneft (RTS: TRNF) will issue a targeted loan totaling no more than 50.211 billion rubles to LLC Spetsmornefteport Kozmino to equip the port as part of the project to build the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline, Transneft said in a statement.

The Federal Property Agency, which owns 100% of the company's voting shares, approved the loan at an extraordinary shareholders meeting on June 20, the statement says.

The interest rate on the loan will be based on the rate at which Transneft borrows funds plus 0.01%. The funds will be provided for the period until 2021 in tranches dependent on the need for financing of the ESPO pipeline's construction as regards Spetsmornefteport Kozmino. The loan can be partially or fully repaid ahead of schedule. In addition, Spetsmornefteport Kozmino will have the right to defer payments on the loan until after the port launches operations.

The ESPO pipeline system is being built to ship oil from Siberian fields to the Asian-Pacific region. The project is being carried out in two stages. In the first phase, the 2,400-kilometer Taishet- Skovorodino stretch will be built and an oil terminal with capacity to handle 30 million tonnes a year will be built on the Pacific coast. In the second phase, a stretch linking Skovorodino and the Kozmino terminal will be built.

The first phase of ESPO was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008. However, Transneft said in fall 2007 that the pipeline will not be ready before the fourth quarter of 2009.

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