Lithuania in the News
2nd November 2014
|Lithuania Reaches a Major Milestone in its Search for Energy Independence|
"Independence" arriving at Klaipėda seaport. Photo courtesy enmin.lt
The arrival of "Independence" was greeted with jubilation by Lithuania and its friends and allies internationally, as it signalled that Russia's stranglehold on gas supplies to Lithuania has finally been broken. Tangible results of this were already to be seen in May this year, when with the arrival of "Independence" looming, negotiations with the Russian gas supplier Gasprom resulted in Gasprom at last reducing the price of gas to Lithuania. International dignitaries taking part in the LNG terminal opening ceremony included Latvia's Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, acting special envoy for international energy affairs at the US State Department Amos J. Hochstein, European Commission representatives and many other international dignitaries. Amos J. Hochstein conveyed the greetings from the US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"Independence" was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and Lithuania will become the fifth country in the world to use FSRU technology. The huge floating terminal is three soccer fields in length. At full capacity it will be able to supply of up to 90% of the
The launching of "Independence" in South Korea in February 2014. Photo courtesy lrp.lt
The LNG terminal is of major importance to Lithuania, but it is only a first step towards greater energy independence. Two other major projects to interconnect Lithuania's electricity network to the rest of Europe are under way. The NordBalt High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) undersea link will connect Lithuania to Sweden with a capacity of 700 MW. With an undersea cable link of approx. 400km it will be second longest undersea electricity cable link in the world. It is scheduled to start operation in December 2015. The other electricity connection also to be implemented in 2015 is the LitPolLink HV connection to Poland's electricity grid.