Lithuania Reopens Baltic LNG-Link Tender After Procurement Probe

Klaipedos Nafta AB, Lithuania’s state-controlled energy terminal operator, reopened bidding for a contract to link a natural-gas terminal to the country’s grid after complaints about a previous change of the tender terms.

A Lithuanian group whose previous winning bid to build the 20-kilometer (21.8-mile) pipeline was annulled, and Germany’s PPS Pipeline Systems, which protested the rejection of its offer, have been invited to present new offers within two weeks, Klaipedos Nafta AB Chief Executive Officer Rokas Masiulis said today by phone from the town of Klaipeda.

“We’re repeating the last step at initial tender terms, as instructed by procurement authorities, in order to ensure total fairness and transparency,” Masiulis said. The delay “shouldn’t impact” Lithuania’s plans to start operating a new LNG terminal by the end of 2014, he said.

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. PPS objected that terms of the tender to build the pipeline by Oct. 1, 2014, were changed before the Dec. 20 deadline, eliminating bonus points for bidders that committed to complete the work earlier.

The Lithuanian bidder, a group including Kauno Dujotiekio Statyba AB and Siauliu Dujotiekio Statyba UAB, in December offered to do the work for 138 million litai ($53 million).