Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas: LNG terminals bring strategic and economic benefits


2018 10 24

Photo: President's of Croatia Office

On 22nd of October Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas attended the conference on energy security in Zagreb. At the bilateral meeting with President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, energy security matters relevant for both countries and in particular the importance of LNG terminals in strengthening the energy independence and competitiveness of the states were discussed.

In Croatia, where a LNG terminal identical to the one in Klaipėda is planned to be constructed, the Minister introduced the Lithuanian experience in implementation of this project, which turned into a guarantor of energy security and competitive prices of gas for our consumers.

At the forum opened by the President of Croatia, the Minister noted that the LNG terminal constructed in record time of two and a half years changed the rules of play not in Lithuania alone but also in the whole region. 

According to the Minister, LNG terminals are geopolitical strategic and economic projects at the same time. Being a project of energy security first, the Lithuanian LNG terminal has been successfully expanding its activities in commerce for the fourth year of its operation and it will surely bring additional benefits for the state and consumers. 

'Klaipėda LNG terminal, which is the only LNG gateway for the Baltic States, is a good example for Croatia aspiring to become the LNG centre in the Adriatic Sea. Today, we can see that the use of the LNG terminal in Klaipėda exceeded our expectations – the terminal was planned to occupy at least 25 per cent of the whole gas market, but its share is about 50 per cent at the moment', said Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.     

During the meeting between the Minister of Energy and the President of Croatia, energy security matters that receive special attention of both countries were discussed, emphasising the role of LNG terminals in assurance of energy independence from the only and dominating gas source.

At present, Croatian import of gas accounts for about 40 per cent, but in the future with local energy resources diminishing, the dependence on imported gas will be increasing. Therefore, alternative sources of gas supply are gaining special importance and Croatia is trying to secure sufficient capacities in the region in the nearest future to ensure benefits of the terminal for the whole region.

Minister Vaičiūnas noted readiness of Lithuania to continue sharing its good experience with Croatia, which plans to construct a LNG storage vessel of the same technology as the one in Klaipėda by 2021. 

'In Lithuania, same as now in Croatia, in the very beginning of the project development quite a lot of uncertainties were present. But one thing we know for sure – every year of delay costs extra millions of Euros for consumers, which they overpay for gas because of the absence of competition in place. I believe Croatia can benefit not only from good experience but also for the lessons learnt. Obviously, ownership of LNG terminal is beneficial in strategic and economic respects, for this reason this year Lithuania is planning to decide regarding purchase of the terminal. Lithuania sees Croatia as an opportunity to export its unique experience gained during the development of the Independence LNG storage vessel project', stated the Minister of Energy.

The operator of the Lithuanian LNG terminal – Klaipėdos nafta – has also expressed its interest in participation in the Croatian LNG terminal.