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.

The agreement with will help Ruskhimalliance's efforts to make progress with its plans to build an LNG plant and polymer facility near the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga.