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Published: 24 october 2012 13:11

Lithuanian Energy waits for LNG terminal after launching new power unit

Šiomis dienomis Lietuvos elektrinės du blokai dirba maksimaliu režimu.
„Lietuvos energijos“ nuotr. / .

Lithuania's state-owned electricity production group Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) is waiting for a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Klaipėda to start operations after inaugurating on Tuesday a new power generation unit that took around 4 years and more than a billion litas (EUR 300m) to build.

Lietuvos Energija CEO Dalius Misiūnas has told reporters that the company plans to become a customer of the LNG terminal. The new combined-cycle unit in Elektrėnai burns natural gas.

"Consumers can expect reliability to be ensured and the price to be calculated transparently by the regulator. But I cannot make promises as to the price of gas. However, we have a strong impetus toward managing the gas price. We do expect to be a customer of the terminal and thus put into place a model that is working in many places in Europe - the terminal and the combined-cycle (plant) as a base load generator," he said.

Misiūnas did not say how much electricity would cost if gas were purchased from the LNG terminal. "Everything depends on the gas price. The price of gas accounts for about 80 percent of the total cost," he said.

Lietuvos Energija and Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipėda Oil), the developer of the LNG terminal project, plan to sign a final agreement on the purchase of natural gas from the terminal by the end of this year. Last December, the companies signed a preliminary agreement under which Klaipėdos Nafta would supply the whole amount of gas needed by Lietuvos Energija.

The new 1.3-billion-litas unit at the Lithuanian Power Plant in Elektrėnai is Lietuvos Energija's largest project so far.

The new 455-megawatt power unit, built by Spain's Iberdrola together with its Lithuanian partners, has an efficiency of around 58 percent and is planned to meet some 20 to 25 percent of the country's power needs. It is said that Unit 9 will use 30 percent less natural gas than the plant's old units, some of which will be dismantled.

A 328-million-euro contract with Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion, a subsidiary of Iberola, was signed in April 2009.

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