Lithuanian government approves LNG terminal

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The Lithuanian government approved Wednesday a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Baltic Sea as part of efforts to cut its dependence on supplies piped in from Russia.

The government announced that state-owned company Klaipedos Nafta had been assigned to draw up details of the new project.

The terminal is planned to cover only Lithuania's natural gas needs and a Belarusian proposal for another to help meet its own requirements would be considered later, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said.

"Our yearly needs consist of a maximum of three billion cubic metres of natural gas while Belarus needs an additional eight to 10 billion cubic metres per year.

"Construction of the latter terminal would be much more difficult, so we treat it only as a separate possible project," he said.

Lithuania's gas arrives from Russia via a pipeline across Belarus, and has been affected by feuds between Moscow and Minsk that have interrupted supply.

In June it supplies dipped by more than 40 percent amid a row between Belarus and Russia over gas payments and transit fees.

© 2010 AFP

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