Latvia weighs LNG construction bids: press
US and Middle East investors are considering bids to build a new LNG terminal in Latvia, Latvian Television (LTV) reported March 27.
At least four potential investors have expressed an interest, Latvia's economics ministry told LTV. Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Kariņs said a second LNG terminal in the Baltic region, supporting existing imports through Lithuania's 3.8bn-m3/year Klaipeda LNG facility, would be needed "to continue with gas in the medium term."
"There are companies in Latvia that are considering such an opportunity and have shown interest, we will also go to America to inquire about the possibilities of building such a terminal on commercial principles, and let's talk to our neighbours as well," the ministry said.
Spikes in demand at Klaipeda LNG's floating LNG terminal have seen capacity fully booked until September. While it now serves the majority of its Lithuanian gas consumption, more terminals are required to satisfy the demand of its Baltic neighbours, as the region seeks to reduce its need for Russian gas.
Project operator SIA Kundziņsalas Dienvidu is looking at building a small LNG terminal in the Latvian capital of Riga, LTV said. A second 3mn metric tons/year terminal could be situated 40 km north of Riga near Skulte Port, offering connections to the Baltic region's only underground gas storage facility at Incukalns.
The Baltic region currently picks up around 35 TWh (119 bn ft3)/yr of natural gas, with 20TWh (68.2 bn ft3) of that share going to Lithuania, 10TWh (34.1 bn ft3) to Latvia, and 5 TWh (17 bn ft3) to Estonia, which is considering pushing ahead with its own LNG terminal project.