Lithuania’s KN plans to boost Klaipeda regas capacity

Lithuania’s Klaipedos Nafta, the state-owned operator of the country’s first LNG import facility in Klaipeda, is looking to boost the capacity at the FSRU-based terminal due to high demand in the Baltic region.

In that regard, KN said in a statement it has launched technical infrastructure studies to assess the possibilities of expanding the annual regasification capacity of the Klaipeda LNG terminal.

According to KN, one study would address the possibility of expanding the technical capacity of the LNG terminal berth infrastructure and the associated pipeline, while the second study would assess the increase of the FSRUs own regasification capacity.

KN said both studies would analyze the possibility of infrastructure development in two possible scenarios. These include boosting the LNG terminal’s annual regasification capacity to 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) and to 6.25 bcm.

KN is currently leasing Hoegh LNG’s 170,000-cbm FSRU independence with a regas capacity of 3.75 bcm, but it has decided to buy the unit for $153.5 million, excluding VAT, at the end of its current lease deal.

“The studies initiated will help to elucidate tangible solutions to increase the LNG terminal’s capacity, to assess the level of investment required, and to provide a tentative timetable for when additional equipment could be purchased and installed,” KN said.

KN to complete studies by the end of this year

KN said it expects to complete both technical capacity development studies by the end of this year.

“Europe as a whole is turning to LNG terminals as the preferred alternative to secure a reliable supply of natural gas independent of Russia,” Mindaugas Navikas, KN’s chief commercial officer said in the statement.

“Accordingly, the importance of the Klaipeda LNG terminal, which is currently the only gas supply alternative in the Baltic region, has increased significantly this year, with demand for the terminal’s capacity far exceeding supply,” Mindaugas said.

Lithuania said in April it had completely abandoned imports of Russian gas and would satisfy the country’s entire gas demand via the FSRU-based LNG import facility in the port of Klaipeda.

In June, KN’s customers have fully booked the LNG terminal’s regasification capacity for this gas year ending September 30, and FSRU Independence would receive 20 large LNG cargoes in the March-September period.

Also, five companies from Lithuania, Estonia and Poland would receive in total ten LNG cargoes via the FSRU in the fourth quarter of this year.

Mindaugas said the analysis of the technical capacity development aims to ensure that the company exploits the LNG terminal’s full potential and that “we secure natural gas supplies that best meet the needs of Lithuania and the region.”

“With the results of the studies, we will be able to more accurately assess the scope and feasibility of such a project,” he added.

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