On Monday, court documents revealed that a Russian court had ordered the freezing of roughly $500 million in assets belonging to the German industrial gases major Linde at the request of a Russian joint venture developing a gas complex at the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga.
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RusKhimAlyans, a joint venture that is 50% controlled by Russia’s Gazprom, petitioned the Court of Arbitration of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region to place a precautionary freeze on 35 billion roubles ($488 million) worth of Linde assets, Reuters reported.
Sanctions blocked the venture
Linde and Renaissance Heavy Industries secured an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Ust-Luga gas complex with Gazprom and its partners in 2021. Linde notified the client in May and June 2022 that it had paused work under the contract owing to sanctions implemented by the European Union in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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RusKhimAlyans asserts, according to the paper, that EU sanctions prohibit the delivery of equipment for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant but do not apply to equipment necessary for the other component of the Ust-Luga complex, the gas processing facility.
According to court documents, RusKhimAlyans plans to petition the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre to recover advance payment and damages of around 972 million euros ($1 billion) and 7.6 billion roubles.
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