President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the naming ceremony of Lithuania’s LNG FSRU in South Korean city Ulsan. The LNG vessel was built in South Korea by Norwegian company Höegh LNG in association with Hyundai Heavy Industries and will be used in Klaipeda port in Lithuania as an import terminal.
Following ship naming traditions, the President gave the LNG vessel a female name “Independence” and broke against the vessel’s side a bottle of sparkling wine. Released into water, “Independence” will reach Lithuania before the end of the year.
“It is a historic day for Lithuania. This vessel carrying a nice symbolic name “Independence” is a real step towards our energy independence and security, which means that we have an alternative and no one ever will blackmail us over gas prices or influence, through energy, our political or economic life. It means not only fair prices for our people, but also an economically stronger and more competitive Lithuania,” the President said.
Grybauskaitė noted that after launching the Klaipėda terminal Lithuania will be able to import gas from all over the world at competitive market prices. The terminal will enable Lithuania to negotiate cheaper gas with all suppliers providing gas not only via terminals, but also via pipelines, she said. At present, absent alternative gas supplies, Lithuania pays for natural gas a political price imposed by Gazprom – approximately 30 percent more than other EU member states.
According to the President, a big and sophisticated LNG vessel embodying the most advanced global technologies demonstrates Lithuania’s economic potential. “We will have the most sophisticated vessel that will serve not only Lithuania, but also the entire Baltic region. Lithuania is becoming a stable energy nation,” she added.
Press Release, February 19, 2014; Image: president.lt