Russia's Sibur Co-Owner Say May Consider IPO After Main Project Start

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 5 (Reuters) - Russia's top petrochemical producer Sibur may consider an initial public offering (IPO) after it launches production at its key project in Siberia in 2019, Leonid Mikhelson, Sibur's co-owner and Russia's richest tycoon, said.

The ZapSibNeftekhim project (ZapSib 2) will be Russia's largest petrochemical facility and will boost Sibur's polymers production. China's energy giant Sinopec owns a 10-percent stake in Sibur.

"(We) are looking at IPO in future," Mikhelson told reporters on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. "From my point of view, it would be right to do it after the start of ZapSib 2 due to the financial condition and comfort of investors."

Apart from a stake in Sibur, Mikhelson also owns a stake in Novatek, Russia's second largest gas producer after Gazprom.

In 2017, Mikhelson has topped Russia's rich list for a second year running with an estimated wealth of $18.4 billion, the Russian edition of Forbes reported in April.

Mikhelson told reporters he had recently proposed a delegation from Saudi Arabia to consider participation in Novatek's projects but it was too early to talk about any concrete plans. Sibur may also consider cooperation with Saudi Arabia in rubber production, he added.

Novatek is still on track to commission production at the Yamal LNG (liquefied natural gas) project this year, Mikhelson said.

He also said that he was ready to consider attracting foreign partners to Novatek's other large-scale Arctic LNG 2 project and hoped that the capital expenditure on this project would be 20-30 percent lower than the one on the Yamal LNG.

The Yamal LNG project signed loan agreements worth over $12 billion with Chinese lenders in 2016, however several European creditors have also joined the project financing since then.

Mikhelson said that Germany's Hermes and Sweden's EKN agencies were expected to join the project financing and that the total part of the loans for Germany and Sweden will total 300 million euros ($338 million). This sum will allow the project to raise less than it was previously expected from the Chinese side, he added.

($1 = 0.8865 euros)

(Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva, writing by Polina Devitt, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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