GET Baltic, a joint venture of Lietuvos Dujos AB and Finland’s Gasum Oy that plans to create a Baltic natural gas exchange, began trading of the fuel in Lithuania.
Starting today, Internet trading will be held weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the Vilnius, Lithuania-based company said on its website. Four companies have signed up to trade and accords with several others are in progress, it said.
Lithuania joins hubs in the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, France and Austria, where growing volumes of traded gas are challenging Russian export monopoly OAO Gazprom’s preference for long-term contracts tied to the price of oil. Trading began on an exchange in neighboring Poland Dec. 20.
Lietuvos Dujos owns 66 percent of GET Baltic’s shares. Gasum, an Espoo, Finland-based company that operates the country’s natural gas network, holds the remaining 34 percent.
Lithuania is splitting ownership of the sales and transmission activities of Lietuvos Dujos, a utility controlled by Germany’s EON AG, Gazprom and the Lithuanian state as part of a European Union drive to force dominant energy companies to improve access for competitors.