The launch of the marine terminal for natural gas, with pump open on January 8 in Kaliningrad in the presence of President Vladimir Putin have generated a lot of questions. According to head “Gazprom” Alexey Miller, the Russian enclave receives gas solely through the LNG terminal and transit of Russian gas via gas pipeline Minsk-Vilnius-Kaunas-Kaliningrad temporarily discontinued.
The new terminal, and a floating regasification installation “Marshal Vasilevsky” produced by the South Korean company Hyundai provide 2.7 billion cubic meters of gas per year, with a margin covers the needs of the region. The project cost $ 1 billion.
The gas delivered through the pipe, cheaper than those obtained through the installation of regasification of LNG. According to estimates of “Vedomosti”, the full autonomy of the Kaliningrad region will manage “to Gazprom” additional 480 million dollars a year.
“We understand that the delivery of gas pipe is more economically viable… but for the Kaliningrad region it is likely spare capacity to substantially nullify all transit risks,” Putin explained the meaning of the project.
The decision to build Kaliningrad terminal was made in 2013 after Lithuania declared its desire to break energy dependence on Russia. However, the Lithuanian political elite, as always on duty stiffened.
At first glance, the diversification of transit routes really need. However, given the position of Lithuania and its NATO allies, their active opposition to the same “Nord stream-2”, Russia should prepare for military protection of sea routes for the delivery of LNG to the Baltic.
Where is the guarantee that Vilnius is their Russophobia will not go the way of official Kiev with his pirate manners in the Kerch Strait? Whether in this case Russian sailors to ensure freedom of navigation in the vital region for Russian waters?
— Russia is able to secure supplies of liquefied natural gas through the Baltic sea exactly the extent to which it can provide its overall security, says captain 1st rank of reserve Konstantin Sivkov. — If we are in principle able to repel aggression, to ensure its territorial integrity, it means that can protect and port in the Kaliningrad region.
But if war breaks out, of course, the fighting there will be very intense and this port will be exposed. You have to use the air defense system. It’s all very explosive — in the case of a direct hit all around can carry. But in fact, Russia did the right thing built this terminal. It is better to supply gas bypassing all this “NATO riff-raff”.
A resident of Kaliningrad Mikhail kostyaev also considers diversification of transit the right decision, but drew attention to the peculiarities of the region.
A paradox, but in the Kaliningrad region there are cities in which there is no gas. For example, in the Baltic, where the main base of our Navy. Never got the gas there. Build homes for military with equipment, and no gas. I asked them why such apartments to buy. I hope that someday will hold. Funny.
“SP”: — Well, here Putin arrived, the terminal has launched, will play probably gas in the Baltic. Indeed, in the case of a naval blockade by NATO to protect supplies of LNG will have sailors… And what about telling ordinary people?
— People are afraid that if we go entirely on LNG, the gas price may rise. But I think it will not. This is a safety net available. And it is difficult to imagine that such a large region can only be achieved with liquefied gas. Even technically — we have a gas network under it’s just not “sharpened”. They were made under the pipe from Russia.
“SP”: — whether on your memory any disruptions in supply of gas through the pipe?
— Any specific problems, interruptions or delays with the supply of gas to the Kaliningrad region from “big” Russia. But talk about what he goes through Lithuania and, therefore, in which case she can somehow prevent it, but were.
Because Lithuania in relation to Russia have always been pretty aggressive. Plus it’s a NATO country. Again anything will be offended, we will block the valve. So from a strategic point of view, the construction of the LNG terminal is a reasonable solution.
For the same reason, now there is a safety net for electricity.
“SP”: — please Explain…
Lithuania has announced its intention to withdraw from the Russian energy network. And in the Kaliningrad electricity is also supplied via the territory of Lithuania. So we have now built two new CHP, in order to have its electricity. People protested, but apparently need it. Did the test, during which disconnected completely from Lithuania.
“SP”: — it is Symbolic that the regasification installation, albeit a Korean production, patriotically named “Marshal Vasilevskiy”. He fought on the Baltic front, under his command, Soviet troops took Konigsberg…
— Yes, the city is kind of his cult. The square in the center of the city named after him.
According to the Director of the national energy Institute Sergey Pravosudov, the political significance of the Kaliningrad project is far above the economic.
The Straits, a bottleneck can still block, but the sea will not overlap. In the Baltic we have a military fleet in Kaliningrad and in St. Petersburg. With regard to the actions of Lithuania, it is a little early decided to protect themselves from dependence on Russian energy and built its own LNG terminal. And Russia has now built his. That is, this is a common trend now. Everyone tries to protect themselves.
“SP”: — What can you say about the economy of the Kaliningrad project?
— Economy is not. This is done purely for hedging, if necessary, the residents of the Kaliningrad region would be able to survive in isolation mode. It is clear that in normal conditions the Lithuanian transit will work quietly, and this terminal will be idle.
You have to understand that in Europe there is a huge amount of LNG receiving terminals and they are all loaded to 20-25%, because the gas pipe is cheaper. In Kaliningrad will be a similar story. Although not very clear how it will be depreciated. They will write off the cost? But something will come up.
Most likely, “Gazprom” will somehow load this terminal. Just to not rusty at all, have not lost functionality. But it will be small volumes.
“SP”: — it’s worthwhile to spend on such a project is $ 1 billion?
— I think the decision on construction was taken at “Gazprom”. From the point of view of the economy concern the project would not be interesting. Obviously, the government gave Gazprom the Commission. He carried it out.
“SP”: — a Third of that billion went to the purchase of South Korean regasification installation. They themselves are to do, it turns out, do not know how?
— Until now, Russia had no such need. We have our own gas, we piped and distributed. But such system is needed for those who buy LNG. Well, now in Kaliningrad it took. Still, maybe this will be the Kamchatka Peninsula. There will come a LNG tankers from Yamal and reboot.
“SP”: — In the Kaliningrad LNG from Yamal is also going?
— This can be gas from the Yamal Peninsula, where NOVOTEK, or gas “Gazprom”. When the “Nord stream-2” will work, he in the Baltic sea is a small port gas liquefaction plant. This requires technology. This gas and can send to the terminal in Kaliningrad.
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