Vilnius: Natural gas supply and trading company LITGAS, part of Lithuania’s state owned energy holding Lietuvos Energija, and Norwegian energy giant Statoil are in the market for ships together, Maritime CEO can exclusively reveal today.
Last month the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on to develop a joint venture company in Lithuania to develop small scale LNG bunkering services.
Dominykas Tuckus, LITGAS’s CEO, tells Maritime CEO his company and Statoil are now “planning to acquire some shipping capacity enabling to supply LNG to prospective customers”.
“We are now assessing various options, such as owning or long term chartering,” he says.
With the Baltic becoming an emissions control area this year, LITGAS is in a good position, controlling Klaipėda’s LNG terminal which is the only one large scale terminal in the Baltic able to reload LNG in addition to regasification.
“Key infrastructure enabling receiving large scale LNG vessels and breakbulking activities into smaller vessels is already in place and we are seeking to utilise its capacity,” Tuckus says.
Along with LITGAS’s partner, Klaipedos Nafta, which operates the LNG terminal, Tuckus intends to build additional onshore infrastructure that will allow trucks to load LNG and supply it to customers in Poland and Baltic States.
Shipping’s adoption of LNG as a fuel is just around the corner, insists Tuckus.
“More significant changes are coming in 2017, when shipowners will commission LNG powered ships, which are currently under construction. We think this will be a turning point helping to reach a critical mass needed for the LNG bunkering market to start developing faster,” he says.
LITGAS will merge with its sister company – a natural gas supplier Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas from 2016. Combined with its Statoil JV, Tuckus says LITGAS will be a “strong player” in the region’s natural gas and LNG supply markets.