MOSCOW, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Russia's No.2 gas producer Novatek is to double planned production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Arctic by 2020-2025 by developing a second plant, a government document showed, after the company was granted export rights.
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved liberalisation of LNG exports earlier this month to end Gazprom's monopoly on overseas sales and help Russia's drive to double its global LNG market share to 10 percent by 2020.
Novatek, together with France's Total and China's CNPC, is developing the Yamal LNG project, which is due to deliver the first seaborne gas by 2017. It has previously said it would produce 5.5 million tonnes initially, with a view to increasing it to 16.5 million tonnes.
The government statement, dated Dec. 19, said that the nearby LNG-2 plant, to be built on the basis of the neighbouring Gydan Peninsula's deposits, will also produce 16.5 million tonnes of LNG per year in 2020-2025.
A Novatek spokesman declined to comment.
The government said the new project would enjoy the same tax breaks as Yamal LNG, such as zero mineral extraction tax, crucial for the viability of the projects located in the Arctic with its harsh climate.
Initially, Novatek planned to develop the Gydan peninsula together with Gazprom, Russia's top natural gas producer. But local media reported that their project had fallen through and Novatek decided to go ahead alone with development.
It was not immediately clear if Novatek, controlled by its head Leonid Mikhelson and the co-owner of Gunvor trading house, Gennady Timchenko, would invite partners to develop the Gydan project.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Megan Davies and Tom Pfeiffer)
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