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    Lithuania Aims To Boost Small LNG in Baltic States


Small-scale regas terminal could spread LNG benefits throughout Baltic region

by: Dale Lunan

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Lithuania Aims To Boost Small LNG in Baltic States

Lithuania wants to leverage its 4bn m3/yr floating LNG import terminal at Klaipeda to serve as a conduit for small-scale LNG trade throughout the Baltic states, the country’s energy minister told a Houston LNG conference March 21.

Zygimantas Vaiciunas, in a keynote address to the 16th Americas Summit of the CWC World LNG & Gas Series, said Lithuania has been able to dramatically reduce its reliance on Russian pipeline gas imports, cutting them by some 65% since Klaipedas opened in 2014. Over the same period, the average price of imported gas in Lithuania has fallen by 55%.

Other Baltic states, Vaicunas said, can enjoy the same benefits of reduced reliance on Russia and lower gas import prices.

As it is, the operation of the Klaipedas terminal already offers some small-scale LNG trade opportunities from Lithuania. In the next few years, a pipeline connection to Finland due for operation in 2020 and the completion of the GIP-L (Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania) project in 2021 will allow small-scale LNG operations to flourish in Finland, Sweden and, in fact, all ports of the Baltic Sea, Vaiciunas said.

To support the development of this small-scale market, Lithuania is looking to increase its imports of US LNG, which began in 2017 with two cargos from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana. Those two cargos made Lithuania the second biggest European market for US LNG, behind Turkey (10 cargos) and just ahead of Poland (one cargo), according to US Department of Energy data.

“In 2017, Lithuania was among the top three importers of US LNG in Europe, but we can do more,” Vaiciunas said. “We see the US as being able to use Lithuania as the gateway to the Baltic states and central and eastern Europe, which represents a potential market of 2,860bn ft3/yr.”

(Banner photo: Klaipeda terminal, courtesy Klaipedos Nafta)