Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has accused district heat provider Vilniaus Energija of foul play after it stated that heating prices in Lithuania's capital would grow due to the obligation to purchase part of gas from the Klaipėda Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal. The prime minister said the company was ending the year how it had begun it - with strange manipulations when purchasing fuel and with heating prices in Vilnius higher by one quarter.
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

"I believe we are putting and end to these manipulations this year because the Government submitted the law regarding LNG terminal changes and it was approved by Parliament, and by next year all loopholes for manipulation will have been eliminated, thus the situation will not repeat itself," the prime minister told the national radio LRT on Tuesday.

Butkevičius said that in early 2015 Vilniaus Energija procrastinated the signing of the agreement on cheaper gas purchase - for over a month gas was being bought at a higher price. It later transpired that biofuel was acquired from Bionovus, a related company, also at a higher price - by 1.5 times higher than it cost in the biofuel exchange.

According to the head of Government, an audit is being carried out at Vilniaus Energija. "We will make decisions once the audit is completed. We cannot allow such inconsistent planning and price disproportion in certain months because gas consumers have to pay for all of this," said Butkevičius.

As reported, last week Vilniaus Energija said that the cost of heat and hot water in Vilnius would grow by 26.3 percent, December compared to November. Higher prices are expected to remain in January, but should subside in February.

Minister of Energy Rokas Masiulis responded by saying that Vilniaus Energija was engaged in manipulations - in October it decided to purchase substantially more gas from the LNG Terminal than planned earlier. The energy minister said Vilniaus Energija manipulated fuel purchase prices.

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