Lithuania Suspends Baltic LNG-Link Tender in Procurement Probe

Klaipedos Nafta AB, Lithuania’s state-controlled energy terminal operator, canceled plans to approve this week a contractor to link a natural-gas terminal to the country’s grid pending a probe of the tender terms.

“The company was obligated to suspend the procedure of conclusion of the procurement contract” by order of the Public Procurement Office in Vilnius, the Baltic nation’s capital, the Klaipeda-based operator said today on its website.

Germany’s PPS Pipeline Systems, whose bid to build the 20-kilometer (21.8-mile) pipeline was rejected, last week said the tender lacked transparency and should be held again. Klaipedos Nafta shareholders planned on Jan. 25 to approve a group including Kauno Dujotiekio Statyba AB and Siauliu Dujotiekio Statyba UAB, both from Lithuania, as the winner.

Lithuania is building a floating liquefied natural-gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast to diversify its gas imports and reduce reliance on Russia’s OAO Gazprom. Klaipedos Nafta said it would cooperate with procurement officials seeking to resolve the matter swiftly and avoid delaying the late-2014 target date for completion of the LNG terminal project.

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