Lithuania reduces its dependence on Gazprom by installing an LNG terminal in the Baltic Sea

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Lithuania has finished installing the terminal of liquefied natural gas (LNG) “Independence” in the Baltic Sea, which will enable this Baltic country to diversify energy supply, breaking Gazprom’s monopoly on the local market, informs AFP.

The 294-meter vessel has been leased for a period of 10 years from Höegh LNG of Norway, which will ensure the maintenance of the terminal and the staff. Lithuania has signed a supply contract for liquefied natural gas with Norway’s Statoil, which will begin deliveries on Tuesday.

The terminal will allow Lithuania to buy 540 million cubic meters of gas next year, and later can reach up to 4 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Norwegian supplier. Currently, Lithuania has a supply contract with Gazprom, which will expire at the end of 2014. Last year, Lithuania has bought 2.7 billion cubic meters of gas from the Russian giant, the largest gas supplier in Europe.

Günter Oettinger, EU’s Commissioner for Energy, said that the installation of this terminal is a big step made by Lithuania for diversification of gas supply, which ensures price competitiveness and guarantees the safety of gas supplies in the region. This LNG terminal gives the other Baltic countries, Estonia and Latvia, the possibility of importing liquefied natural gas, according to analysts.

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