The current model for financing the operation of the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal can be changed if a better solution is offered, Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis said on Tuesday, commenting on a proposal from the Association of Heat Producers that all consumers contribute to the maintenance of the facility.
Dujovežis "Golar Seal", Suskystintųjų gamtinių dujų (SGD) laivas-terminalas "Independence"
© M.Milinio nuotr.

"As to the maintenance model, this can be discussed. The current model is working. Perhaps somebody can offer an even better model. We are always open to discussions," he said on LRT Radio.

Under the Law on LNG Terminal, state-regulated heat and electricity producers have an obligation to purchase gas from the LNG terminal.

The minister admitted that this requirement increases the price of heating, but noted that the overall gas portfolio has become cheaper.

"In a sense, it has (an impact on the higher price), because the terminal's gas is slightly more expensive than Gazprom's gas. It is increasing the price very insignificantly, but what is most important is that the terminal has brought down the price of the overall gas portfolio by around 20 percent. Overall, the price of gas has declined," he said.

The association said in late March that the costs of operating the terminal should not be covered by heat consumers alone.

Electricity consumers now indirectly pay for gas imported by the terminal because the electricity price includes a public service obligation tariff that is used to support electricity generation by combined heat and power plants and the Lithuanian Power Plant.

The operation of the LNG terminal is also financed through the so-called security component of the gas transmission tariff, which is paid by all gas consumers.

Dalius Misiūnas, CEO of the state-owned energy holding company Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), said last November that the price of gas for heat producers in the 2014-2015 heating season would be around 5 percent lower than in the 2013-2014 season, taking into account the terminal's gas price, the security component and an additional discount on Gazprom's gas price.

He said that on average, heat producers in 2015 would purchase 65 percent of their gas from the LNG terminal and the remaining 35 percent from other sources.

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