A Gazprom joint venture has moved closer to developing a liquefied natural gas plant in Russia after penning a long-term gas supply deal that could help it raise billions of dollars to finance the scheme.

The state-controlled gas monopoly signed the agreement covering the supply of up to 45 billion cubic metres per annum of pipeline gas with Ruskhimalliance, a 50:50 joint venture between Gazprom and privately held Rusgazdobycha.