EU approves construction of Lithuania LNG terminal
The floating LNG terminal, due to start operating in late 2014 at the Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda, will help Lithuania avoid “unfair” pricing by its current sole gas supplier, Russia’s OAO Gazprom.
By BRYAN BRADLEY
The European Union approved the liquefied natural gas (LNG)
terminal that Lithuania is building, clearing several
potential legal hurdles, state-controlled terminal operator
Klaipedos Nafta AB said.
The green light, which the Europe
an Council in Brussels will
issue tomorrow, follows a two-year audit of the
terminals compliance with EU rules on competition and
state aid, Klaipedos Nafta General Director Rokas Masiulis
said Tuesday at a news conference in Vilnius, the Lithuanian
The floating terminal, due to start operating in late 2014 at
the Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda, will help Lithuania avoid
unfair pricing by its current sole gas supplier,
Russias Gazprom, according to Prime Minister Algirdas
Butkevicius. Lietuvos Dujos, the Lithuanian gas utility
controlled by Gazprom and EON, asked the EU to block the project
on the grounds that it
violated competition rules.
Weve passed a very serious exam, crossing a sort
of legal finish line that lets us now focus on construction
, Masiulis said.
It also clears the way to secure some financing that is still
pending, he said.
an Investment Bank agreed in
July to lend Klaipedos Nafta 87 million euros ($118 million)
to finance about half the cost of construction
. That loan
couldnt be accessed until the Lithuanian government
issued a guarantee to the European Investment Bank, which
wasnt possible until the EU formally approved the project
, according to Masiulis.
an Commission didnt
recommend changing anything in the project
, Masiulis said.
They found that everything is being done right to
ensure the terminal will increase competition, opening our
market to new suppliers.
of a jetty for the
LNG ship at Klaipeda as well as a pipeline linking the
terminal to Lithuanias gas grid by December 2014, is
proceeding on schedule, he said.