Fast-growing operator from Lithuania secures commissioning deal with Italian LNG import terminal

Klaipedos Nafta, Lithuania’s liquefied natural Gas import terminal operator, has been awarded a contract by Snam, an Italian network operator, for the commissioning and testing phases of a floating storage/regasification unit at the Mediterranean port of Piombino.

Piombino LNG imports will be handled at FSRU Golar Tundra , which was acquired by Snam last . It has a LNG storage capacity of 170,000 cubic meters and a nominal throughput rate of 5 billion cubic metres per year.

Klaipedos Nafta has signed a second international contract in the last month as the Lithuanian outfit takes advantage of a European-wide increase in LNG imports to replace the Russian pipeline gas that was damaged by the Ukraine conflict.

The Baltic countries and Poland were eager to diversify their energy sources even before Moscow cut flows last January in apparent retaliation against European Union sanctions against Ukraine.

Klaipedos Nafta, a Klaipedos subsidiary, announced in October that it would begin operations at Germany’s Uniper LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven. This will continue until 31 March 2024.

Wilhelmshaven’s services include the operation and establishment of the gas metering system, as well as the IT infrastructure required for the commercial operation of the terminal.

Uniper was also assisted by the Lithuanian company in operations services, including preparation of logistical cargo and advice on operational rules and capacity reservation procedures.

European FSRU panorama

Klaipedos Nafta chief Executive Officer Darius Silenskis stated that he expected only six of the potential 23 LNG terminals to be built in Europe prior to the Russian invasion in February 2022.

He stated that 17 European LNG projects are now expected to be approved by the final investment decision stage due to the growing disconnection of energy links between Europe and Russia.

Silenskis stated that such project developers often contact Silenskis for advice, operational, or co-investment opportunities.

Klaipedos Natta has been involved in more than 10 LNG projects since the opening of its LNG import terminal in Lithuania, in 2014. It also said that it has been operating the LNG regasification terminal at Acu in Brazil since 2020.

Klaipedos Nafta will present its refreshed, refocused long term strategy. It covers the company’s regional ambitions and global ambitions for the LNG and low carbon business up to 2050.

According to the spokesperson for the company, “Klaipedos Nfta’s goal was to use our existing knowledge and expertise in international LNG projects, where we would be selected either as operators, consultants or investors, and we have ambitious goals.”

Snam chief executive Stefano Venier stated that the Piombino LNG project will be online in three to four months during a January call with investors to present the strategic plan of the Italian energy infrastructure company for 2022-2026.

“Works are moving on time and there have been no delays. He stated that we expect to have the Piombino terminal online by May.”