OREANDA-NEWS. The head of Novatek, Leonid Mikhelson, asked the government to subsidize interest rates on the construction of 15 LNG tankers for the LNG-2 project at the Zvezda shipyard. He sent the corresponding letter to the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, writes on Monday the Russian mass media with reference to the sources.

"Mikhelson proposed either subsidizing interest rates from the budget, or placing funds on the VEB.RF accounts of the National Wealth Fund”, the publication says. According to the publication's interlocutors, the essence of the scheme with VEB.RF may be that the state corporation, thanks to the income received from placing funds from the National Wealth Fund in its accounts, will offer lower interest rates for gas carriers.

The letter also indicated that the construction of 15 gas carriers "Star" in 2020-2025 will require almost $ 5 billion, writes the Russian media. Dmitry Medvedev instructed First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov and the head of VEB.RF, Igor Shuvalov, to work on Michelson’s proposals, newspaper sources added.

In Novatek, the Russian media was informed that “within the framework of the presidential assignment and taking into account the requirements of the legislation, financing of the construction of the entire series of vessels can be effectively provided by VEB.RF”. The VEB.RF publication stated that the state corporation is involved in financing the construction of six tankers on the Zvezda, of which three product carriers, for which Sovcomflot acts as the lessee, and "have not made any decisions on any other transactions".

A spokesman for Dmitry Medvedev declined to comment. In the Ministry of Finance and Sovkomflot, which is to receive a contract for the first five gas carriers for Arctic SPG-2, they did not comment on the situation.