Lithuania might start importing LNG from the United States as early as next year, Lithuanian Minister of Energy Zygimantas Vaiciunas says after introducing American companies to the Lithuanian government’s decision to buy the Klaipeda-based FSRU Independence by 2024, reported LETA/BNS.
“The news was received by the companies very favorably, to have that long-term LNG supply. (…) I have no doubt that these conversations will evolve into one or the other type of LNG supply contacts probably as early as next year,” Vaiciunas told from Frankfurt, on his ways back from the United States.
He did not elaborate on whether it could be short-term or long-term contracts.
During his visit, the Lithuanian minister informed LNG suppliers about legal amendments aimed at acquiring the FSRU that the country currently leases from Norway’s Hoegh LNG.
Vaiciunas, who met with representatives of Cheniere, Freeport LNG, Commonwealth LNG and Total and other companies on Monday and Tuesday, said a strong focus had been placed on reducing the cost of LNG transportation from the US.
“Transportation costs currently make up about half the price of LNG from the US (…). We had an opportunity to see the flexibility of the companies, because, basically, US companies are not engaged in transportation services,” the minister said.
“So, I think this is one of the areas where we could look for solutions together with US or EU bodies in order to reduce transportation costs and make LNG more competitive,” he added.
“I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of us ourselves taking gas from the US if there is a decision on the purchase and long-term operation of our LNG terminal Independence”
At a transatlantic security forum in Washington in September, Vaiciunas underlined the importance of boosting LNG imports, primarily from the US, for increasing the energy security of the EU, which remains largely dependent on Russian gas.