Lithua­nia asks Klaipeda gas ter­mi­nal to be added to EU’s list of projects of com­mon in­ter­est

Baltic News Network - - News -

Lithua­nia has asked Klaipeda LNG ter­mi­nal to be added to EU’s list of projects of com­mon in­ter­est. If Euro­pean Com­mis­sion de­cides to ap­prove this re­quest, Lithua­nia can hope for fi­nan­cial sup­port of at least EUR 100 mil­lion. This fund­ing would help re­duce gas prices for con­sumers in Lithua­nia and other Baltic States.

Ap­proval would ba­si­cally mean the ter­mi­nal built us­ing money from Klaipedos nafta and main­tained us­ing money from Lithua­nian con­sumers will be rec­og­nized as a re­gional pro­ject.

As noted by Lithua­nian En­ergy Min­is­ter Zy­gi­man­tas Vaici­u­nas, Lithua­nian govern­ment lately has been hold­ing ac­tive talks with Lat­vians and Es­to­ni­ans, whose sup­port for this pro­ject is very im­por­tant. On 8 May, prime min­is­ters of the three Baltic States will gather in Tallinn to dis­cuss this mat­ter. It is planned that lead­ers of Baltic gov­ern­ments will visit Klaipeda ter­mi­nal and In­cukalns gas stor­age fa­cil­ity.

«Our of­fer to Lat­vians and Es­to­ni­ans was such: let’s open a new page and ra­tio­nally look at costs, num­bers, mar­ket shares and its func­tion with­out any prior bi­ases. We talked with Latvia’s min­is­ter last week about Klaipeda ter­mi­nal. If our ter­mi­nal is the most op­ti­mal solution for all Baltic States, we could start to con­sider fu­ture joint de­vel­op­ment steps,» Vaici­u­nas told BNS.

«We’re try­ing to cre­ate a pos­i­tive out­look be­cause Latvia’s and Es­to­nia’s po­si­tion in re­la­tion to Klaipeda ter­mi­nal had been rather neg­a­tive in Novem­ber last year. Nev­er­the­less, as time went by, their opin­ions be­came more and more pos­i­tive. At least now they are more agree­able to hold talks,» he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Lithua­nian en­ergy min­is­ter, if Klaipeda ter­mi­nal is added to the list of projects of com­mon in­ter­est, it would open up op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­ceive sup­port from Con­nect­ing Europe Fa­cil­ity. Prime Min­is­ter Saulius Skver­nelis says Lithua­nia ac­tively works with col­leagues in Latvia, Es­to­nia and Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to have Klaipeda ter­mi­nal rec­og­nized as re­gional. «If we ac­com­plish it to­gether […] we will be able to ask EC for sup­port and re­solve the mat­ter of re­duc­ing fi­nan­cial bur­den for Lithua­nia,» he told BNS. Ac­cord­ing to him, EC in Fe­bru­ary de­clined Es­to­nian com­pany Alex­ela’s pro­posal for EU co-fi­nanc­ing of EUR 344 mil­lion for the LNG ter­mi­nal pro­ject in Pald­iski. This could in­di­rectly mean Lithua­nia can hope for sup­port for Klaipeda ter­mi­nal.

EU’s de­ci­sion to al­lo­cate EUR 101 mil­lion to Croa­tia’s ter­mi­nal on Krka Is­land, he be­lieves, can be viewed as a prece­dent of EC sup­port­ing Float­ing Stor­age Re­gasi­fi­ca­tion Unit tech­nol­ogy even though it was pre­vi­ously be­lieve that it does not qual­ify for CEF sup­port. For­mer Lithua­nian En­ergy Min­is­ter Rokas Ma­si­ulis had pre­vi­ously told BNS that the agree­ment with EC in re­gards to sup­port for buy­back of In­de­pen­dence ship for Klaipeda ter­mi­nal would sim­plify talks with Nor­we­gian Hoegh LNG con­cern.

Pan­therMe­dia/SCANPIX

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