Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania

11/07/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/07/2018 10:11

Minister of Energy: the upcoming three or four years will see new opportunities for cooperation in the gas market

On November 6, Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas participated in the forum organised for the regional gas market, during which the prospects of Lithuanian-Polish cooperation were discussed. In his welcome speech, the Minister emphasized that after the major gas infrastructure projects, such as Lithuania-Poland pipeline (GIPL), are accomplished, new opportunities for cooperation will emerge.

'The upcoming three, four years will offer a great deal of new opportunities for our region. We will have new gas interconnections from Estonia to Finland and from Lithuania to Poland, which will connect the Baltic states to the gas markets of the EU and the Central and Eastern European region. We have to think now about the way we could use all the opportunities of the new infrastructure in order to create more efficient competition and ensure the maximum benefit for consumers,' said the Ministry of Energy.

According to the Minister, joint effort must be put to ensure that no technical or regulative obstacles emerge for the movement of gas flows between the borders of the states. The enhancement of cooperation between the operators of transmission systems and more efficient gas exchanges must also be discussed.

The Minister noted that new possibilities had emerged for liquefied natural gas terminals in Lithuania and Poland, which have much better conditions for partnership in the common market.

'We see new paths for LNG import, and we see the growing possibilities of LNG consumption as the number of LNG consumers is growing. A number of LNG carriers have left from Klaipėda LNG terminal to Poland. I think that the partnership approach is the most practical and rational, since a bigger common market will make us more attractive and interesting for LNG market participants,' claimed the Minister of Energy.

At the forum, the representatives of the Polish LNG terminal presented their plans of the terminal development, and Lithuania presented its solutions regarding the assurance of long-term LNG supply.

According to the Minister of Energy, in the last ten years, Lithuania and Poland have managed to ensure the diversified supply of natural gas and to eliminate the fifty years' long dependence on the monopolist 'Gazprom'.

However, the Baltic states and the whole Central and Eastern European region still pay huge amounts for Russian gas, i.e. about 5 billion Euro annually, and the Russian gas giant 'Gazprom' seeks to maintain and enhance its influence in the energy sector in the region as well as across the EU.

It is obvious, as the Minister claims, that regional and global challenges in the field of energy will remain relevant to the region, and joint actions in the common market may be of great assistance in overcoming them.