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Lithuania may offer up to one-fifth of shares in future LNG terminal to foreign investors

Arvydas Sekmokas
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / Arvydas Sekmokas
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania may offer up to 20 percent of shares in future state-owned liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal operator to the suppliers of equipment, technology or gas, Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas has confirmed officially.

That option was introduced in a bill on LNG terminal, which should set forth all the terms and conditions required for the terminal to launch operations by 3 December 2014, he said, adding that the bill would be considered at the government’s meeting next Monday.

"The bill includes a possibility to offer up to 20 percent of shares to the suppliers of equipment or the suppliers of liquefied natural gas. To those market players who are active in the liquefied natural gas business. For example, such an investor could be the company Hoegh, which will supply the vessel, or it could be liquefied natural gas companies, such as Cheniere, which Lithuania signed a letter of intent with last year," the minister told reporters after the meeting of the LNG terminal project's implementation commission on Wednesday.

Sekmokas said that he had not discussed the possibility of Hoegh taking a stake in the terminal during his meeting with the Norwegian company's top executives a week before.

Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipėda Oil), which is implementing the LNG terminal project, confirmed this as well. "There have been no concrete discussions yet," he said.

Jean Abiteboul, president of Cheniere's international supply and marketing unit, told BNS last May that the US energy company would consider investing in the LNG terminal and becoming a minority shareholder.

Sekmokas said that Klaipėdos Nafta's deal with Hoegh LNG had been among the issues discussed during Wednesday's meeting.

Klaipėdos Nafta signed a 10-year contract with Norway's Hoegh LNG in early March, agreeing to lease a floating storage and regasification unit for the planned LNG terminal. The lease of the FSRU will cost the company 189,000 US dollars daily (including VAT), or 689 million dollars over ten years.

The 10-year lease is expected to start in September to November 2014. The FSRU will have a storage capacity of 170,000 cubic meters. Hoegh LNG has ordered the vessel from Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries, which plans to start building its hull in September.

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 is being 50-percent financed by Lietuvos Dujos and the rest by the state, which has allocated some EU money for the project.

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