Photo: Robertas Dackus.Photo: Robertas Dackus

The Independence arrives in Lithuania

Last updated: 29.10.2014 // On October 27, top government representatives from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, the USA and other countries gathered in the Lithuanian port city of Klaipėda to inaugurate the first Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in the Baltic and Nordic region.

The arrival of the FSRU (floating storage with a regasification unit) vessel “Independence” marks the completion of the main infrastructure of the Klaipėda Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal. The project has already been dubbed “the Game Changer” in terms of the Baltic Sea region energy security.

Vidar Helgesen, the Norwegian Minister for EEA and EU Affairs, stated that the “Independence” has arrived at the right moment to contribute to stability in the region and as a vital link to the rest of Europe and the wider world. This project means greater energy security for Lithuania, and for Latvia and Estonia, added the Minister.  

Vidar Helgesen, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs at the inauguration of the first LNG terminal in the Baltic region. Photo: MFA.Vidar Helgesen, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs at the inauguration of the first LNG terminal in the Baltic region. Photo: MFA

Mr. Helgesen noted that the LNG terminal project opens a new chapter in the economic ties between Lithuania and Norway. Notably, the project has been implemented with essential involvement of Norwegian companies. I am proud that this has been made possible through Hoegh LNG’s delivery of this vessel and Statoil’s supply of gas, said Mr. Helgesen.

According to the minister, Norwegian companies have the capacity to take part in new energy projects in Lithuania and the region.

In her speech, the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė called the terminal Lithuania’s great victory, not only making Lithuania energy-secure, but also providing a security guarantee for the whole region.  From now on, nobody will dictate us the price of gas or buy our political will, stated the President.

Energy security has long been at the top of the Lithuanian political and economic agenda.  Up until now, 100 percent of gas has been supplied to Lithuania by Gazprom. The LNG terminal puts an end to gas monopoly in the region, and is a crucial step towards bringing the Baltic States out of their “energy island”. The terminal will ensure security of supply and alternative sources, enabling access to markets and allowing the purchase of gas at market prices.

The LNG terminal aims to become the LNG hub for the Baltic Sea, fully open for third party access. In the future, the capacity of the terminal can grow to meet 75 percent of the combined natural gas demand in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.  The terminal enables exploring additional LNG uses, such as an alternative, more environmentally friendly ship or road transport fuel.

The terminal will also provide possibilities for LNG reloading, which is a new type of activity in the Baltic Sea region.

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