Lithuania Grabs LNG to Curb Russian Dominance

Lithuania Grabs LNG to Curb Russian DominanceLithuania Grabs LNG to Curb Russian Dominance

After less than three years and spending of $128 million, an off-shore liquefied natural-gas vessel is anchoring on the former Soviet republic Baltic coast today and will convert LNG into natural gas and pump the commodity to the mainland, Bloomberg reported.

The aim is to free the country from its dependence on Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s largest gas supplier and the sole source for Lithuania. Years before the Ukraine conflict renewed fears of another winter gas shutoff from Russia, Lithuania requisitioned the Independence, a South Korean-made ship the length of three football fields. It is docking in the port of Klaipeda and may replace all Russia’s annual 2.7 billion cubic meters of gas supplies. “Lithuania made a bold, yet timely, decision to begin an independent and fast construction of the LNG terminal,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said. “Lithuania now has a choice.”

The terminal gives the country of 2.9 million ammunition in price negotiations with Gazprom when a long-term supply contract ends next year. Lithuania says it pays the highest price for Russian gas in the 28-member European Union.

The Baltic state now “can very seriously consider the option of not having any agreements with” Gazprom when the gas supply contract expires, Grybauskaite said. Still, Lithuania doesn’t “strictly reject Russian gas, especially if it comes at a cheaper and competitive price for us.”