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Europe to help finance Lithuanian LNG

July 9, 2013 at 8:23 AM

VILNIUS, Lithuania, July 9 (UPI) -- The European Investment Bank said Tuesday it would help finance the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Lithuania.

The EIB said it was lending energy company Klaipedos Nafto more than $111 million to help finance the construction and operation of an LNG import facility in the Lithuanian port city of Klaipeda.

"This investment is critical for Lithuania to diversify and secure its energy supply as well as provide backup in the event of gas supply failures," the EIB said in a statement.

Lithuania and other Eastern European countries are trying to add more diversity to an energy sector dominated by Russia.

EIB Vice President Pim van Ballekom said the project would help ensure a sustained supply of natural gas for energy and increase competition in the country's energy sector.

The LNG facility will include about 10 miles of pipeline that will connect the terminal to the Lithuanian natural gas grid.

"The LNG terminal in Klaipėda is a critical component of Lithuania's energy strategy as it is the alternative solution for gas diversification in the short term," Lithuanian Minister of Energy Jaroslav Neverovic said.

The project should be completed by the end of next year.

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