TEHRAN, Aug. 22 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran plans to offer 80 percent of stake in Iran LNG project to foreign bidders in order to secure a portion of the required budget for the project, the head of Iran LNG Company said here on Saturday.
"We have been in talks with some foreign companies for the past three months to transfer 80 percent of the stake, worth around $4 billion, in the liquefied natural gas production project" Ali Kheirandish said, Mehr news agency reported.
The project is being developed by the Iran LNG Company, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, and is now 25 percent complete, according to the MNA.
"The government has approved to draw $900 million out of the Foreign Exchange Fund to finance the project, he said.
Referring to the negotiations with some foreign banks, he said, "We also hope to receive a €200 million loan from a European bank."
According to Press TV, three European companies have voiced interest in buying 80 percent of Iran LNG project.
Kheirandish did not reveal the name of the European companies, but said they are considering the conditions of the project before making a final decision.
Iran LNG plant is being built at Tombak Port, approximately 50 kilometers north of Assaluyeh in Bushehr province. Construction of the LNG plant started in 2007. The project includes two LNG trains each with a capacity of 5.4 million tons of LNG per annum.
The project is expected to become operational in January 2011 with a total cost of $4.35 billion for the downstream facilities. The liquefaction plant will be developed in two phases, each projected to produce 10.5 million tons of LNG annually.
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