Latvia would purchase gas from the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal if prices were competitive, the neighbouring country's economy minister said on 27 August.
D. Reizniece-Ozola and R. Masiulis
© DELFI (V.Spurytės nuotr.)

"Technically, the infrastructure is here. We have a very important pipeline construction project to be delivered by the end of this year, the Klaipeda-Kiemėnai pipeline, that physically will ensure all the capacities that are necessary towards the Latvia direction,"Dana Reizniece-Ozola told reporters in Klaipėda.

"Now it's all about the prices, because prices are an important factor. We need not only the stable supplies, we also need supplies at the competitive rate and that's the issue," she said.

She was speaking after a meeting with Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis and a visit to the LNG facility.

Masiulis said that there are no obstacles for Latvia to purchase gas from Lithuania.

"There are no real obstacles. There is just inertia. The gas business is planned for many years ahead. Many companies have contracts with Gazprom that are still in effect," he said.

Latvia is expected to liberalize its gas market in line with the requirements of the Third Energy Package by April 2017, making it the last Baltic country to do so. This will likely create a real possibility for Latvian gas consumers to purchase gas from the Klaipėda terminal.

A second gas transmission pipeline between Klaipėda and Kuršėnai (Kiemėnai), in the northern part of the country, is expected to be completed this year. From Kuršėnai, the pipeline goes further north to Latvia.

The second pipeline is 110 kilometers in length and 80 centimeters in diameter, compared with the existing pipeline's 30 centimeters. It will allow transporting 80 percent of the Baltic countries' gas needs from the LNG terminal.

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