RDIF and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation to invest in ESN Group’s methanol plant development in Russia’s Far East

Press release, 14.10.2019

Riyadh, October 14, 2019 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and ESN Group have agreed to invest in a project to design, build and operate a methanol plant in the Amur Region.

The corresponding announcement was made today in presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

The plant’s annual installed capacity is expected to be up to 2 mn tonnes of methanol with 1 mn tonnes at initial stage. In July 2019, the methanol plant project became a resident of advanced special economic zone (ASEZ) "Free". As part of ASEZ mechanisms the government provides investors with incentive support measures.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said:
“RDIF is consistently building up investment partnerships with companies from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Today we have reached an agreement with SABIC and ESN Group and will build a modern methanol plant in the Far East. This plant will boost local tax revenues and help create additional jobs.”

Grigory Berezkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ESN Group, said:
“Partnership with RDIF and SABIC propels this project to an entirely new level. SABIC is the global leader in petrochemical industry. RDIF is a sovereign fund with unique portfolio and unparalleled experience in execution of major investment projects in various industries. Due to sizable Gazprom investments in development of gas infrastructure and simultaneous introduction of systematic stimulating measures for attraction of investments by the Russian Government, there is a tremendous opportunity for implementation of world-class investment projects in the Russian Far East”.

Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, commented:
“This is an important milestone in our global growth strategy. Russia is important to our global expansion plans, which have been formulated around competitive feedstock and our capacity to innovate and plan strategically. We plan to maintain our strategic partnership with the Russian market by continuing to focus on meeting customer needs, increasing our key customer base, and growing our commercial operation, in addition to enhancing our presence in the Russian market and maintain our leading position as a key methanol supplier”

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Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 70 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB 1.5tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 800,000 people and generate revenues which equate to more than 6% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than $40bn. Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru

ESN Group is a Russian private equity group with a portfolio of investments in various industries – media, energy, infrastructure, IT, natural resources and petrochemical sector. ESN’s major investments include RBC (Russia’s media and hosting group), Delovoy Peterburg (Business media), METRO newspaper (a franchisee of METRO International), energy trading company RES (JV with Italian energy holding ENEL), Jolla (Finnish company developing independent mobile operating system Sailfish), and Bystrinsky GOK, mining and processing plant (JV with Norilsky Nikel with over $1,5 bn of investments).

SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It manufactures on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals. SABIC supports its customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy. The company recorded a net profit of US$ 5.7 billion in 2018. Sales revenues for 2018 totaled US$ 45 billion while total assets stood at US$ 85 billion. Production in 2018 was 75.3 million metric tons. It has more than 33,000 employees worldwide and operates in around 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, SABIC has 11,738 global patent filings, and has significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia. The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange.

For additional information contact:
Arseniy Palagin
Russian Direct Investment Fund
Press Secretary
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru

Andrew Leach / Maria Shiryaevskaya
Hudson Sandler
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133

Marianna Belousova
ESN Group
Public Relations Director
Mobile: +7 985 210 54 93
E-mail: mbelousova@esn.ru