RIGA - Latvia expects its planned natural gas stocks to last until the beginning of next year, but if needed, additional gas could be purchased at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Paldiski, Estonia, which might be put into operation this fall, according to coalition politicians.
Asked if Latvia will have enough gas, including for heating, to survive until the middle of next spring, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) indicated that the government has already tasked state-owned energy company Latvenergo with purchasing additional 3.8 terawatt hours (TWh) of gas.
Latvenergo has practically fulfilled this task and two shiploads of LNG have already been injected in Latvia's underground gas storage facility in Incukalns. Additionally, two more shiploads have been booked at LNG terminal in Klaipeda, Lithuania, which Latvia expects to receive in the third quarter of this year, Karins said.
It is estimated that this amount will be sufficient to supply Latvia with gas throughout 2022 and possibly also the beginning of next year, depending on the severity of the winter, Karins said.
The prime minister said that it was premature to comment on further gas purchases in the winter, as the Paldiski LNG terminal is still in the process of development. Karins noted that new LNG terminal projects are being developed both in Estonia and Finland. The capacity of the Klaipeda terminal is expected to exceed regional demand, the prime minister said.
Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance), an MP and former economics minister, said that the government has taken timely decisions to store gas reserves in the Incukalns facility, which allows Latvia to feel "stable".
If a necessity for more gas arises in the first quarter of 2023, Latvia will be able to purchase more gas at the Paldiski LNG terminal, which might be put into operation in the second half the fall, Vitenbergs said.