MOSCOW- Russia's largest petrochemicals producer Sibur may use money from the country's National Wealth Fund to help finance the construction of its planned Amur Gas Chemical Complex, a company manager said on Tuesday.
Sibur said in 2018 its plans to build a gas chemical complex in Russia's Far East would require initial funding of up to $8 billion, and that it was seeking Chinese investors for the project. China's Sinopec is set to take a 40% stake.
Construction may be completed as early as 2024.
"We are working with that option, but it's up to the government and those regulators who have the access to that type of money," Sibur management board member Alexander Petrov told reporters on a conference call about the possibility of drawing money from the state fund.
Russia's National Wealth Fund, which held $174 billion as of July 1, has previously provided Sibur with $1.75 billion in funding for the construction of a petrochemical plant in western Siberia.
Separately, the company's head, Dmitry Konov, said that now is not the right time for a long-planned initial public offering of the company to go ahead, especially given the coronavirus pandemic.
Sibur, whose board members include Russian President Vladimir Putin's former son-in-law Kirill Shamalov, had been considering Moscow as the main venue for a possible listing.
Konov also said that the company had decided not to proceed with plans to build a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia jointly with Total and Saudi Aramco deeming it unfeasible.
Sibur said on Tuesday it had incurred a 4.5 billion rouble ($61 million) loss in the first half of the year due to the weak rouble and an 11.6% fall in revenues due to drop in prices for most of its products.
Excluding the non-cash foreign currency impact, adjusted net profit for the period amounted to 37.9 billion roubles, compared to 49.3 billion roubles a year before.
($1 = 73.7600 roubles)
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Louise Heavens and Jan Harvey) ((email@example.com; +7 495 775 12 42;))