Lithuania's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Klaiėeda, which took a year and a half to build and cost around 500 million litas (EUR 145m), is officially launching operations on Wednesday.
© M.Milinio nuotr.

The Law on LNG Terminal sets 3 December as the launch date.

Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis said on Wednesday morning that the terminal was already supplying gas to the city of Klaipėda.

"It is already pumping gas, little by little. The city of Klaipėda is largely supplied with gas from the LNG terminal. I am going to Klaipėda to see by myself that all the details have been put together, that all processes are in place and that we have fulfilled the requirements of the government resolution," he said on LRT Radio.

Although the main pipeline has not yet been laid under the bottom of the Curonian Lagoon, Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil), the terminal's operator, says that the infrastructure is ready for use.

Indre Milinienė, a spokeswoman for Klaipėdos Nafta, has told BNS that the terminal can supply gas using a backup gas pipeline laid along the bottom of the lagoon.

The Independence, the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) built for the LNG terminal, arrived in Klaipėda more than a month ago and has undergone testing since then. Klaipėdos Nafta leases the vessel from Norway's Hoegh LNG.

The first trial LNG shipment was delivered to Klaipėda late in October and Norway's Statoil is to ship the first commercial LNG cargo in late December. Six to seven gas tankers will deliver 540 million cubic meters of gas to the port annually.

The LNG facility will start actually supplying gas to the grid in January. In will operate at a capacity of 1 billion cubic meters of gas in the first year of operation, which will be later increased to around 4 billion cubic meters per year.

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