Lithuania and Latvia asking for EU money to expand the overall pipeline. Operators of gas transmission systems of the republics filed a joint application to the enforcement Agency programs of innovation and networks at the European Commission (CEF). It is assumed that increasing the capacity of the pipe will create the best conditions for the use of LNG terminal in Klaipeda and underground gas storage inčukalns in Latvia. In fact, it may go so on Lithuanian-Latvian gas pipeline, modernized the means of EU funds, will flow gas from Russia.
According to media reports, the total investment in the project, the Lithuanian Amber Grid and Conexus Latvian Baltic Grid is estimated at 10.2 million euros. At the construction stage, the company intends to offset the expense of the EU 75% of this amount. In the framework of the CEF is the maximum possible amount of funding.
That is, their “senior comrades” Lithuania and Latvia beg for a little more than 7.5 million — the amount is ridiculous. But in recent years the Baltic States have been taught that a bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush.
Such a “crane” for it was, for example, an expensive railway project Rail Baltica. To pay it completely the EU is not going to, and the allocated funds are not enough. Funding problems not just move graphics — today it’s difficult to say whether it will be built this narrow gauge railway. But in the case of a positive outcome can be new problems.
“Even if the European Union will allocate money, he can then demand them back because the business case was done wrong, — says member of the Board of the party “Green Estonia” Olev-Andres Tynne. — The European Union is funding only profitable and break-even projects. Rail Baltica is clearly loss-making project.”
Slightly different rules apply in the energy sector. Here for Europe, obsessed with the problem of diversification of energy supplies, the fact of increasing the pipeline throughput is considered to be a move in the right direction.
The more gas will flow between the countries of the EU (at least on paper) the better. Rather, safer. Safety Brussels is sparing no expense.
The Baltic States understand this and are not shy to knock out of the EU money for various energy projects.
For example, the construction of a gas pipeline between Lithuania and Poland (GIPL) the European Commission has allocated more than half of the necessary funds — 305 million euros.
And the return pipe with a length of 534 kilometers, nobody thinks. It is no coincidence that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the dividend from the investment will be a “free flow of energy in Europe.”
In 2016 GIPL entered the list of important regional EU projects in the field of distribution of gas. There was the initiative to increase the capacity of the pipeline between Lithuania and Latvia.
By the way, the media reported it nine years ago: the European Commission has allocated 12.9 million euros for the same Lithuanian-Latvian project. Then EU financial assistance accounted for 50% of the total investment. It is unknown how to dispose of the money of the company Lietuvos dujos and Latvijas Gaze, but today, the Baltic republics again in need of modernization of the pipe.
In Amber Grid argue that the feasibility study and cost-benefit analysis of this project revealed an important trend: after the construction of the GIPL pipeline between Finland and Estonia, the Lithuanian-Latvian pipe will also need new capacity.
In parallel, the company is pushing the idea of increasing the throughput of the gas pipeline klaipėda — Kuršėnai, which is used for the transportation of gas in the Latvian direction.
With it, Lithuania was going to solve two problems: put regasification LNG to customers in neighbouring countries, as well as upload it to the Latvian underground gas storage facility in inčukalns. The Republic’s authorities were so confident of success that he decided not to skimp on the construction of the pipeline. From the state budget is allocated 60 million euros. “The gas pipeline is of strategic importance for all Baltic States,” — said ex-Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevicius.
Everything happened exactly the opposite: terminal Independence did not become regional. Benefits are not eager even the Lithuanians. But the official Vilnius, it seems, does not lose hope to sell LNG to one of the neighbors. In Amber Grid directly link the capacity of Lithuanian-Latvian pipeline facilitate access to the market of Klaipeda terminal and Latvia’s underground storage.
The more power the pipe, the more liquefied natural gas to Lithuania will be pumped into the Latvian storage. That’s just where will this “more,” if at the end of last year, Lithuania has reduced the volume of LNG imports?
Against this background, the management of chemical fertilizer plant Achema — the largest consumer of liquefied natural gas in Lithuania — proposes to refuse services to Independence and to acquire an analogue smaller.
In fact, the logic is simple: Lithuania terminal loads only one-third, but the rent paid up. What logic is guided by lobbyists for the extension of the Lithuanian-Latvian gas pipeline, we can only guess.
However, we just guess.
The pipe, which was upgraded to strengthen the “energy independence” from Russia will flow Russian gas.
The Russian Federation already ships LNG to the Lithuanian companies Lietuvos energijos tiekimas (LET) and Achema. Authorities contend, but can not do anything. The economy takes its toll.
Russian expansion on the European LNG market breaks the plans of the fighters for independence. Their ambitious projects to harm Moscow can not, but may well help.
According to financial Director of the Russian company — producer of liquefied natural gas “NOVATEK” Brand Jetway, the construction of the Polish-Lithuanian and Estonian-Finnish gas pipeline opens new opportunities for Russian LNG supplies.
In an interview with the analytical portal RuBaltic.Ru the expert of Fund of national energy security and the Financial University under the government of the Russian Federation Stanislav Mitrakhovich explained, in any case, Gazprom will be able to benefit from the Baltic Pipe.
Trying to get rid of the “gas diktat” of Moscow, the Baltic States resembles a squirrel in a cage. And very stupid squirrel. Smart has long been understood that it does not turn away.
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