Conflicts & War

Latvia to end Russian gas use by 2023, build its own LNG terminal

Riga, Apr 11 (EFE).- Latvia on Monday said it would end its use of Russian natural gas by January 1, 2023 at the latest and that all government coalition parties had agreed to build an on-shore liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Baltic country by 2023 or 2024.

“We support Latvia building its own LNG terminal and we are seeking contractors for the project,” prime minister Krisjanis Karins told journalists Monday after a regular weekly meeting of representatives of all four parties making up his government. Policies agreed at these meetings are almost always implemented as official government decisions the following day or at a later government meeting.

Karins said that an on-shore LNG terminal, in contrast to the floating facility near the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, would have lower operation costs and a higher regasification capacity than the Lithuanian LNG terminal and a floating terminal that Estonia and Finland intend to lease and operate by the fall of this year.

While he said Latvia was continuing cooperation with the Klaipeda facility and would seek arrangements with the planned floating LNG terminal in Paldiski, Estonia, Karins said that an LNG terminal in Latvia connected to the large underground gas storage facility in the town of Incukalns “would be the most cost effective for the region as a whole.”

Economics minister Janis Vitenbergs, who recently visited the United States, said he had met with several possible investors in an LNG terminal as well as suppliers of LNG that would ship to Latvia.

Vitenbergs, who represents the conservative-nationalist National Alliance, stressed that an LNG terminal in Latvia would be entirely privately financed with no state money.

He named the capital Riga with its extensive port and the small village of Skulte, on the Gulf of Riga, as possible sites for an on-shore terminal and regasification facility.

Asked whether Latvia could replace generating electricity from natural gas with state-of-the art modular nuclear power plants, Vitenbergs told Efe that had signed an agreement in the US under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) Initiative for technical assistance in developing modular nuclear power in Latvia. However, he said that a nuclear power plant could be built around 2030 if the government decided it was necessary.EFE


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