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Lithuania’s gas importers do not want to be forced to buy gas from LNG terminal

Suskystintų gamtinių dujų terminalas turėtų atsirasti prie Kiaulės nugaros - salos uosto akvatorijoje.
Aurelijos Kripaitės/15min.lt nuotr. / Klaipėda to build a liquified natural gas terminal
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania’s government will oblige gas importers to purchase at least one-fourth of their gas imports from the future liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, but the importers slam such intentions, the Verslo Žinios business daily reports on Tuesday.

Such a legislative obligation would force gas suppliers (six out of 14 companies holding a respective license did not pursue gas supply activities in the third quarter of 2011), including the largest companies, such as Lietuvos Dujos, Dujotekana and Achema, to import approximately 600-700 million cubic meters of gas through the terminal each year if the consumption of gas in the country remained similar to last year’s level (3 billion cubic meters).

Government’s representatives state unofficially that the importers should not sustain any losses since the prices of gas imported through the terminal would reportedly be lower than the prices of gas acquired from Russia’s Gazprom.

The representatives of certain gas importers refused to make any comments on new initiatives by the government for the meantime. However, they presumed that an obligation to import a certain volume of gas through the terminal might entail problems to the companies which had signed long-term deals with Gazprom, which could not modify the terms of supply easily and would have to pay forfeits for the purchase of smaller-than-agreed gas quantities after modifying the volume of supply.

“The government continues its usual practice that the best solution is a directive, which everybody has to implement, and not a balance between private and public interests,” a representative of one company told the daily.

National priority

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal planned to be built in Klaipėda is key for Lithuania’s energy security, President Dalia Grybauskaitė has said.

“The liquefied natural gas terminal, which would ensure us the diversity of imports and would affect the prices of gas supplied by Gazprom, is an absolute national priority. Hence the task of all governments will be to maintain continuity – to complete the projects successfully instead of suspending or revising them. And I will consider it one of my key tasks,” she said in an interview with the Verslo Žinios business daily.

As far as the implementation of national energy policy was concerned, Lithuania until now had made one step forward and two steps back after each election, Grybauskaitė said. She reminded that the agreements adopted on the national level helped Lithuania join the NATO and the European Union and noted that genuine, and not declarative economic and energy independence was no less significant hence the diversity of energy supply was particularly important.

“However, we will be able to speak about our energy security, stability and possibility to implement independent decisions only when having the liquefied natural gas terminal in place,” Grybauskaitė said.

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. State-owned Klaipėdos Nafta has been authorized to implement the project.

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