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Sberbank CIB will finance the construction of Sovcomflot Group’s (SCF) three Arctic shuttle tankers, with $340m in loan.

The tankers will be used for the transportation of crude oil from Gazprom Neft’s Novoportovskoye oil and gas condensate field on the Yamal Peninsula in Russia.

As an infrastructural part of the Novy Port project, the ice-class shuttle tankers will be deployed to ferry crude oil all year round through the stationary export terminal in the Gulf of Ob.

The project is expected to go onboard in 2016.

Sovcomflot’s chief financial officer said: "The signing of the credit facility agreement creates an important precedent for further development of shipping industry financing by Russian banks.

"With this new financing Sovcomflot will have raised a total of over $900m of long-term debt finance from commercial banks and export credit agencies in the course of 2015."

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By GlobalData

The financial agreement between SCF and Sberbank Europe is the first long-term financial investment made by the transport and infrastructure department of the bank in a Sovcomflot Group venture.

"With this new financing Sovcomflot will have raised a total of over $900m of long-term debt finance."

Sberbank CIB’s transport and infrastructure department head Dimitri Casvigny said: "Lending to Sovcomflot confirms our commitment to participating in initiatives that are strategically important for the national economy, and we are happy to be able to support the creation of a fleet of Arctic tankers."

SCF deploys its fleet for hydrocarbon transportation. In 2014, it engaged two shuttle tankers SCF Yenisei and SCF Pechora to ferry oil from the Novoportovskoye field.

The company also operates fleet in the Sakhalin-1 and 2 oil and gas fields, and Varandey project in Russia.

Image: An SVF ship in the Gulf of Ob. Photo: courtesy of Sovcomflot.