VILNIUS - Three local companies have won a large contract for the 29 million euro construction of a natural gas pipeline from Kaunas to the Kaliningrad border.
Jonas Janulionis, Lietuvos Dujos' (Lithuanian Gas') technical director, said that Kauno Dujotiekio Statyba (Kaunas Pipeline Construction), Energija (Energy) and Siauliu Dujotiekio Statyba (Siauliai Pipeline Construction) were selected as winners of the tender, which had been announced by Lietuvos Dujos in early October.
The three companies submitted a joint bid for the contract.
Janulionis said that they expect to sign the contract with the winning bidders next week. Construction work should begin in January and be completed by December next year.
The three companies have teamed up for other large gas pipeline construction projects in Lithuania, as well as in Kaliningrad, Latvia and Belarus. Kaunas Pipeline Construction, which is owned by several individuals, has annual revenues of up to 20 million litas (5.8 million euros). It has built approximately 60 percent of the country's gas distribution pipelines and 90 percent of its transmission pipelines. The company also participated in the construction of the Butinge crude oil terminal.
In late November, Germany's Salzgitter, one of Europe's leading steel producers, signed a contract to supply steel pipes for Lietuvos Dujos' new pipeline.
The aim of the project is to ensure supplies of 1.05 billion cubic meters of gas per year to the Russian exclave beginning in 2006, up from the current annual volume of around 500 million cubic meters.
Germany's Ruhrgas owns 38.9 percent of Lietuvos Dujos and Russia's Gazprom holds a 37.1 percent stake. The Lithuanian government holds 17.7 percent of the outstanding stock.