The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 87 million to Klaipedos Nafta for the construction and operation of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility located in the port of Klaipeda. This investment is critical for Lithuania to diversify and secure its energy supply as well as provide backup in the event of gas supply failures.
The LNG terminal comprises a floating storage and regasification vessel (leased by Klaipedos Nafta), an offshore jetty including gas handling facilities and an 18 km pipeline connection to the Lithuanian gas grid, which are being financed by the EIB loan. The project is planned to be finalised by the end of 2014.
“The EIB strongly promotes security and diversification of energy supply. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Klaipedos Nafta, as the project will ensure the sustained supply of a key source of energy and will increase competition in Lithuania. We would obviously like to see this as the first of a series of energy projects that we could finance in Lithuania”, said EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom at the signing ceremony.
Lithuanian Minister of Energy Jaroslav Neverovič added: “The LNG Terminal in Klaipėda is a critical component of Lithuania’s energy strategy as it is the alternative solution for gas diversification in the short term. This EIB loan is vitally important for timely construction of the necessary infrastructure already by the end of next year. It will bring transparent competition to the gas market, with national and possibly regional consumers set to benefit.”
“We are delighted that Klaipedos Nafta concluded this loan agreement with the EIB today. This long-term loan will be the backbone of the LNG terminal’s project financing and will ensure that the project will be completed in a timely fashion. This is very important as the LNG terminal will bring competition to the Lithuanian gas market for the first time ever”, remarked Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Klaipedos Nafta.
The first import terminal for liquefied natural gas in the Netherlands was opened last week in Rotterdam by Queen Beatrix. The new terminal caters for the rising demand for natural gas in north-western Europe, in spite of declining production.
The EIB has signed a €65 million loan agreement with Lithuanian gas transmission system operator AB Amber Grid to finance the construction of the Lithuanian section of the planned gas interconnection between Poland and Lithuania. The interconnector will be the first high-pressure gas pipeline between Poland and Lithuania, integrating the Baltic States and Finland into the wider EU gas market and diversifying gas supply sources. The project will also increase security and reliability of gas supplies for the local and regional market.