Lithuania plans to purchase the Klaipėda LNG terminal’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in ten years, and not now, since the vessel’s owner, Norway’s Hoegh LNG, refuses to sell the ship before the term established in the contract.
Klaipėda LNG terminal
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Therefore, the government intends to purchase the ship under the contract after the expiry of the ten-year lease and will make the final decision this autumn.

“There are no possibilities to purchase the vessel now since Hoegh LNG wants to continue leasing it. Therefore the government is now choosing the option of purchasing the vessel in ten years’ time, just as established in the contract. However, it’s necessary to start with preparations now,” Prime Minister’s spokeswoman, Evelina Butkutė-Lazdauskienė, told BNS.

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius told the LRT Radio that the government sought to reduce the facility’s costs, hence the plan to purchase the ship in ten years. It was possible to lease the vessel for 30 years, but purchasing it, in the government's estimates, would help save approximately 70 million euros, he said.

“We’ve received an answer that they [Hoegh LNG] do not intend to sell that ship for the meantime. However, we seek to reduce the facility’s operating costs. Therefore we’ve decided to adopt certain legislative acts in autumn,” Butkevičius told the radio.

“Now the LNG facility’s costs are fully included in a natural gas supply security charge, which is added to the price of natural gas. Our assessments show – and it’s very important given the decrease in natural gas consumption both in Lithuania and the Baltic countries – that the share of infrastructure costs may increase. Therefore we've organized those discussions without delay as we have to think of ways to reduce the burden,” he said.

As envisaged, Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipėda Oil), the LNG facility’s operator, will this year get ready to acquire a long-term loan of up to 300 million euros. The final decision will be made in autumn.

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