RIGA - Ventspils City Council on Thursday decided to call on Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) to consider building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Ventspils territory, the local authority informed LETA.
Since developing independent energy infrastructure has become an urgent necessity in Latvia, Ventspils City Council notes that already in November 2010 the Freeport of Ventspils Authority was tasked with exploring possibilities of building an LNG terminal in the freeport's territory and picking the best site for it.
The city's local government and the Freeport of Ventspils hired internationally renowned economic and technical consultants to carry out a feasibility study. As a result, a technical and economic substantiation was drawn up for the LNG terminal project in Ventspils.
On March 28, 2011 the substantiation for the LNG terminal project in Ventspils was presented to Latvia's top state officials but the project's development remains stalled, the local authority said.
Supporters of building the LNG terminal in Ventspils argue that the city's advantages include a non-freezing port allowing for all year round shipping of gas. The port also has the necessary infrastructure for receiving large tankers, storage tanks easily adaptable for storing gas and a pipeline system allowing to transport gas to Latvia's transmission system. Furthermore, the port has experience with reloading hazardous liquid cargo.
As reported, the government on April 19 agreed in principle to give up Russian natural gas imports and to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Latvia. May 31, the Economics Ministry is expected to present an assessment of the terminal's potential location, benefits and costs.
Economics Minister Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance) said at the beginning of June that Latvia's liquefied gas (LNG) terminal might be developed by JSC Skulte LNG Terminal or LLC Kundzinsalas Dienvidu Projekts.
While Skulte LNG Terminal wants to build the terminal in Saulkrasti, Kundzinsalas Dienvidu Projekts proposes developing the project in Riga.
The Economics Ministry has until August 31 to submit to the government a compliance report on these two projects. With help from independent experts, the ministry will assess the project's compliance with Latvia's economic and national interests.
The ministry will outsource the independent experts from a company without holding a tender due to the urgency of the matter.
Skulte LNG Terminal was registered in 2016, and has a share capital of 42,000. According to information on the company's website, Skulte LNG Terminal belongs to Arnfinn Unum and Peteris Ragauss.
Kundzinsalas Dienvidu Projekts, registered in 2010, has a share capital of EUR 4,268. Kundzinsalas Dienvidu Projekts belongs to US company Millennium Energy Partners LLC, and its beneficial owner is Lasha Shanidze.