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Lithuania LNG Terminal Law Faces Review by Constitutional Court

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Lithuania’s highest court agreed to examine the constitutionality of legislation behind plans to build a liquefied natural-gas terminal in the country, as requested by members of the new ruling coalition.

The Constitutional Court in Vilnius said today it would rule on terms of a law and a decree of the outgoing government that give ownership of the project to state-controlled Klaipedos Nafta AB, allow it to be financed partly by raising fees for gas transmission and require natural gas companies working in the country to buy at least 25 percent of their annual throughput from the future terminal.

Members of Premier-designate Algirdas Butkevicius’s Social Democrat party, including three ministers in his proposed Cabinet, were among 30 lawmakers who challenged the project, according to the statement on the court’s website.

Seeking to diversify its gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom, Lithuania plans to start operations at a new floating LNG terminal on the Baltic Sea coast in late 2014. Klaipedos Nafta, the operator, in March signed a 10-year, $689 million agreement with Hoegh LNG to lease the terminal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

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

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