Latvia backs Skulte LNG import terminal

Latvia’s government is backing the construction of the planned LNG import facility at the port of Skulte, as the Baltic country looks to diversify its gas supply sources.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers has decided to grant the status of a national interest object to the Skulte LNG import facility.

The government evaluated two LNG import projects and chose the Skulte LNG import facility.

According to the statement, the draft law would be presented to the government by September 20.

Also, the country’s parliament or Saeima has to approve this law.

The government’s decision would allow for faster and simplified administrative procedures for the implementation of the LNG import project, the statement said.

Skulte LNG developers expect to complete the LNG terminal within 16 months, it said.

FRU and underground storage

In May, Latvian fuel trader Virši-A signed a deal to buy a 20 percent stake in the planned LNG import facility at the port of Skulte.

Virši and the project developer Skulte LNG Terminal will work to jointly develop the facility.

Established in 2016, Skulte LNG Terminal’s shareholders include the National Gas Terminal Society and Peter A. Ragauss, an entrepreneur with experience in the energy sector in the US market.

The terminal developer plans to install a floating regasification unit (FRU) at Skulte port area, 2.5 km offshore from coast line, with pipeline connection to the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility. The facility would have a capacity of up to 3 mtpa.

Baltic LNG imports to rise

Latvia currently has no LNG import terminals but its neighbor Lithuania imports LNG via the Klaipeda FSRU, while Estonia is also building an LNG terminal in Paldiski and the country chartered an FSRU with Finland, as part of plans to phase out Russian gas supplies.

Earlier this year, Latvia’s energy firm Latvenergo also said it would import regasified LNG via the Klaipeda facility.

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