PM does not exclude that state might build LNG terminal

  • 2023-02-08
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - If developers or the strategic investor of Skulte liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal demand inadequate guarantees from the state, it is not excluded that the state might build the terminal on its own, said Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) in an interview with the Latvian public television today.

He said that he has got acquainted with the recent letter from Skulte LNG Terminal, the letter did not name any figures or guarantees the developer or the strategic investor expect from the state. Karins said he did not understand how it is that someone offers to do something but does not clearly say what is wanted in return.

The prime minister said that such a situation that the investor demands impossible promises and guarantees from the state will not be allowed. For example, the state will never guarantee a profit from the project.

Karins said that it is also possible that the state might build the LNG terminal on its own, if this turns out to be the best variant. The Climate and Energy Ministry is currently assessing all possibilities.

As reported, the final decision on further development of Skulte liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project might be made in February after the proposals submitted by the project developer Skulte LNG Terminal have been assessed, said Climate and Energy Minister Raimonds Cudars (New Unity) in an interview with LETA earlier.

He said that, of course, the situation in the natural gas market is changing dynamically and availability of gas transportation networks is changing.

"Skulte terminal is largely like an anti-missile system. We are buying it for big money, but we don't know whether there will be shooting," said Cudars, adding that the potential developers of the terminal have submitted proposals on further cooperation.

"The first issue is related with theoretical work of private investments. The second is related with possible development of Skulte terminal as a government capital company. Both issues should be revised," he said.

He underscored that the terminal in Latvia is a matter of security of supplies. Latvia will still generate electricity using natural gas for another ten years at least, and there is no alternative to replace this sooner with, for example, nuclear energy.

It has also been reported that at the end of September 2022, the Saeima passed in the final reading a bill proposed by the government and the Economics Ministry that will grant the status of national interest to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal Latvia is planning to building in Skulte, its pipelines with the natural gas system and related buildings.

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. In May 2022, Latvian fuel retailer Virsi-A announced an acquisition of a 20 percent in Skulte LNG Terminal.