Unable to Reach Agreement on LNG, Dombrovskis Proposes Construction of Polish-Lithuanian Gas Pipeline

By Alla Petrova (November 14, 2011)

During the Baltic prime ministers’ meeting at the end of last week, no agreement was reached once again on the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in one of the Baltic countries, which is why Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) suggested that the construction of the LNG terminal be postponed, and instead the countries agree on construction of a natural gas pipeline from Poland to Lithuania’s capital city of Vilnius.

At the meeting, the Latvian side insisted that Riga was the best place for construction of the LNG terminal, but Lithuania and Estonia would only agree with this if the European Union recognized Latvia as the most suitable place for the project, writes LETA.

That is why Dombrovskis suggested that the Baltic countries first agree on construction of a gas pipeline from Poland to Vilnius. This would diversify gas supplies also for Latvia, because the Polish pipeline is connected with Germany’s system of gas pipelines, whereas Latvia’s gas pipeline is connected to that of Lithuania. Therefore, Latvia could receive gas supplied from the liquefied natural gas terminal in Poland near the Polish-German border.

By Alla Petrova (November 14, 2011)

Dombrovskis’ proposal took his Baltic colleagues unawares. They said that the suggestion would be evaluated, but neither Lithuania nor Estonia is prepared to give up their LNG projects. The two countries believe that a study done by the European Union would be best at determining where the terminal should be built, whether the gas pipeline should be constructed, or both.

A spokeswoman for European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said that the Baltic countries had been given enough time to reach agreement on the best location for building the LNG terminal. Since this has not happened, this location will be determined by the European Commission’s study. She could not say how long the study would take, adding that this depended on the company that would be hired to do the study.