Lithuania’s Planned LNG Terminal Could Supply Baltic Region

Lithuania’s planned floating liquefied natural-gas terminal on the Baltic sea will have the capacity to supply neighboring Baltic countries.

The floating storage regasification unit could supply neighboring Latvia either via gas pipelines or by shipping the vessel to the country’s port in Riga, Rokas Masiulis, chief executive officer of Lithuania’s oil terminal Klaipedos Nafta AB (KNF1L), said in a press conference in Vilnius today.

The Baltic region is working to diversify its imports from Russia’s OAO Gazprom, its sole supplier. Lithuania agreed to lease a floating gas storage facility from Norway’s Hoegh LNG to begin operations in the Klaipeda port at the end of 2014.

“Technically this terminal in Klaipeda has no barriers to service the whole region,” Masiulis said. “The vessel could be located in Riga in summer and supply Latvia’s underground storage facility and then relocate to Klaipeda in winter.”

The gas pipeline infrastructure connecting Latvia and Lithuania still requires upgrades, he said.

Klaipedos Nafta, which is 70.63 percent owned by the state, plans to borrow 293 million litai ($107.3 million) for investment in the gas terminal from commercial banks or international lenders such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the Nordic Investment Bank.

Klaipedos is in talks with as many as 9 nine potential gas suppliers for the terminal and plans a tender on gas contracts in the third quarter this year, Masiulis said. Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. and Norway’s Statoil ASA (STL) are among possible suppliers for the terminal.

Estonia is studying its separate LNG solution for the country. Vopak LNG Holding BV, a unit of Royal Vopak NV, is conducting a feasibility study for a terminal at Muuga harbor, near Tallinn. The study is expected to be presented to the Economy Ministry in August.

To contact the reporter on this story: Milda Seputyte in Vilnius at mseputyte@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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