Lithuanian PM Sees Baltic LNG Market Deal As Dead
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis thinks that a Baltic liquefied natural gas (LNG) market deal that would have allowed applying for EU funding to purchase the Klaipeda LNG terminal’s vessel is dead, reports LETA/BNS.
According to Skvernelis, Lithuania no longer expects to obtain EU support because that would require approval from all three Baltic countries. Latvia’s decision to ask for more time means that a deadline for filing an application for funding will be missed.
“The key condition for securing support is that this has to be a regional project covering the three Baltic states – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. If one state says that they need another half a year to think and decide, we understand that we can’t meet the deadline for this project and have to look for other ways to lower the burden of the terminal’s costs for our taxpayers,” the prime minister told reporters on Monday.
An application has to be submitted to the European Commission in October. As Latvia plans to make its decision in the first quarter of next year, this means that there will be no deal, he said.
Discussions on regional gas infrastructure started back in 2006 when the Baltic countries agreed to look at the idea of building a regional LNG terminal. However, Lithuania built a terminal in Klaipeda on its own as the countries failed to reach agreement.
Lithuania later called on its neighbors to recognize the Klaipeda terminal as a regional facility and thus make it eligible for European support. As Estonia, which wants to build a terminal in the Gulf of Finland, did not approve of the idea, Lithuania agreed to a regional LNG infrastructure package that would include both terminals and the Latvian facility.
Lithuania leases the Klaipeda terminal’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), named Independence, from Norway’s Hoegh LNG.
Source: The Baltic Course