ERR in Riga: LNG vessel going to Finland won't affect Latvian supply

Natural gas.
Natural gas. Source: ERR

The supply of Latvia with liquefied natural gas (LNG) won't be affected by the fact that a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) won't be coming to Paldiski after all, officials from Latvia's Ministry of Economics confirmed. Estonia's southern neighbor is building its own terminal in Skulte within two years, a project granted object of national interest status by the Saeima.

Latvia has largely followed Estonia and Finland's LNG terminal project from the sidelines. While the government had decided in April to join the common intention, Estonia and Finland nonetheless signed the agreement without Latvia.

Latvia already has its natural gas reserves for this winter. As consumption has decreased by a third, the country needs a total of 6.5 terawatt-hours of natural gas this cold season.

"The exact location of the terminal isn't that important — whether it's Paldiski or Inkoo," explained Edijs Saicans, deputy state secretary on energy issues at the Latvian Ministry of Economics. "What's important is that this terminal exists in our region at all."

The Saeima greenlit the construction of Latvia's own LNG terminal in Skulte with a dedicated law. According to the current plan, private investors will be building the €120 million terminal and 30-kilometer pipeline connecting it to Incukalns underground gas storage (UGS) facility themselves, with no state contributions necessary. At the same time, gas vendor purchase guarantees are needed in order to move forward with the project.

"We're not asking for money," explained Skulte LNG Terminal board member Uldis Salmins. "What we do expect is agreements with bigger gas buyers, to guarantee use of the terminal once it's built. Private investors will be providing the money. Who they are, we cannot disclose due to a confidentiality agreement."

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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