An agreement could be reached this fall on a joint Baltic liquified natural gas terminal, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Or, then again, it may not, if all three countries stick to plans to build terminals on their own soil.
The ministry's undersecretary Einari Kisel told ERR radio news that ministers will meet in October and attempt to decide which solution to choose.
"Each project has some kind of a problem that is insurmountable for the other countries," said Kisel. "Maybe some technical solutions will be found that will satisfy all three countries, but today there is no single solution."
The cost of a joint LNG terminal would be 300-400 million euros.
EU money could be sought if Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all agree on a single project. There has to be also a special fund for investment support – which does not yet exist, but could be created for the next budget period.
In Estonia, Balti Gaas is planning an LNG terminal. In the first stage, which would go ahead with or without EU money, a dock would be built along with a 60,000-cubic-meter tank – enough to cover Estonia's gas needs for three weeks. The first stage would cost 120 million euros. The second stage would require the other two Baltic states to sign on.
The Lithuanian government has called the building of an LNG terminal in Klaipeda a strategic priority, while Latvian power company Latvenergo is armed with a study that says the best location for a joint Baltic terminal is Riga. Estonia's own study is being conducted by the consultancy Pöyry, and it should be released in the autumn.
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