Baltic LNG projects fail to get EU support
Lithuania 's Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said this is because the three Baltic states failed to agree on a single regional LNG project, adding that he is still optimistic and views the decision as a new opportunity.
"I see this as a very clear illustration that we do not have a regional consensus, which means that our objective of optimizing costs of the LNG terminal remains. But the list is definitely not a single measure. This is simply a ticket to fight for EU assistance, and the assistance to gas infrastructure declines politically.
"I welcome the absence of a single project in the list as recognition of reality and a certain new phase," Vaiciunas told BNS.
This spring Lithuania submitted an application to the Commission, asking to include its Klaipeda LNG terminal on the list in hopes of securing up to 150 million euros in financial aid and reducing gas prices for consumers in Lithuania and the rest of the Baltic states.
After the three Baltic nations failed to agree on a regional LNG terminal by this fall and lost the opportunity of securing European aid for buy-out of the Independence vessel, Lithuania's Klaipedos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil) hired consultants to develop scenarios of future LNG imports in Lithuania.
Conversations on regional gas infrastructure opened back in 2006 after the Baltic states agreed to look into the idea of building a regional LNG terminal, however, Lithuania built a terminal on its own after failing to reach consensus. ■