Opportunity for Lithuania's LNG terminal as Latvia opens up gas market
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Latvia's parliament, the Saeima, passed amendments to energy law, opening up the country's gas market to external suppliers, including, potentially, to Lithuania's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
If Latvia's gas provider, Latvijas Gaze, will agree to draft rules and conditions for Lithuania's gas providers, then Lithuanian gas exports may begin as early as this year. The Latvian high court's decision to allow such a transfer removed one hurdle to the effort, but others remain.
On 27 October 2014, the port of Klaipėda on the sea coast of Lithuania was crowded with people and heads of the Baltic States. The day marked a new era in the energy security sector for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as an LNG ship called “Independence” was met with Lithuanian flags waving high. Even higher were the expectations of this floating LNG terminal which at the time analysts called “a game changer” in the Baltic gas sector. However, one year on, Lithuanian government is struggling to find ways to lower the FSRU costs and expand their gas market – “Independence” has become an expensive burden.
The prime ministers of the three Baltic states agreed on Friday on additional two weeks for the final agreement on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, adviser to Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said.
Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis met with his Latvian counterpart on the eve of Baltic prime ministers, expressing hope that the neighboring state would support the agreement on liquefied natural gas, which would pave way for applying for European Union (EU) support for gas infrastructure projects of all three states.
Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis hopes to reach full stop in the Friday's negotiations among the Baltic prime ministers in an effort to ensure European support to the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. In his words, if the discussions end in failure, Lithuania will seek to end the discussions and move on.
Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis is meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Inara Murniece, in the Latvian seaside resort of Jūrmala on Thursday to discuss the positions on the Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP) under construction in Belarus.
The Baltic Film Days will be held in Vilnius for the first time at the end of August – it is a unique event featuring Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian productions on the same week in Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, the Lithuanian Film Center said.