"If we imported liquefied gas this year at the current market prices and continued to import gas at the price we are paying Gazprom today, we could save about 250 million litas annually. That would be 2.5 billion in ten years," he told the Ziniu Radijas radio station.
Sekmokas said that the announced price of leasing a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) for the LNG terminal over 10 years, at 1.8 billion litas, is “totally absurd and economically unexplainable."
"That figure, 1.8 billion litas, looks to me like a situation where one buys a car for, say, 60,000 litas, and someone says that the motorist or the owner will have to pay another 300,000 litas to buy gasoline. The 1.8 billion litas estimate includes all operating costs, all costs, which, I think, is a totally absurd and economically unexplainable figure. In fact, we have an absolutely competitive price. It was achieved by way of transparent competition among three bidders, and I think that we do have these figures - Klaipedos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil) has done the analysis," he said.
The minister said that certain preparatory work has to be completed before the LNG terminal can start operating.
"This is making the port ready, including the deepening (of the port) and building of the quay and of the transmission pipeline from Klaipėda to Jurbarkas. I have no doubt that all will be done on time," he said.
The lease of the FSRU from Norwegian-owned Hoegh LNG will cost 689 million US dollars (approx. LTL 1.791 bln, EUR 519 mln) to Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil) over a ten-year period. A lease contract is expected to be signed next week, with a ten-year lease period planned to begin in the second half of 2014.
The Norwegian company will not only lease the vessel with the crew, but will also provide maintenance and operational services. The supplier is also to ensure that the vessel arrives in Klaipėda by December 2014.
It is planned that the LNG terminal, estimated to cost about 200 million euros, will have an annual capacity of 2 billion to 3 billion cubic meters.
Under the plan, the FSRU will be moored at the so-called Kiaulės Nugara (Pig's Back), in the southern part of the Klaipėda port, and will be connected to the country's gas network via a new pipeline to be built by Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) between Klaipėda and Jurbarkas. The pipeline project is being 50 percent financed by Lietuvos Dujos and the rest by the state.