MOSCOW, July 27 (Reuters) – Russia’s largest non-state gas producer Novatek expects capital expenditure to rise by around 50 percent in 2018 and 2019, as it pushes ahead with plans to increase liquefied natural gas production, a company official said on Thursday.

Novatek Chief Financial Officer Mark Gyetvay said on a conference call that capital expenditure is seen rising to 60 billion roubles ($1 billion) per year in 2018 and 2019 from 40 billion roubles this year.

Novatek is aiming to produce as much LNG as the world’s biggest exporter Qatar and is drawing up plans to build a second plant, known as Arctic LNG 2, on the Gydan Peninsula that juts into the Kara Sea.

Production there is due to start in 2022-2023.

It’s nascent LNG project, Yamal LNG, is due to start production in the fourth quarter and will eventually produce 16.5 million tonnes of LNG per year.

($1 = 59.3450 roubles)

(Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Susan Thomas)

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