Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Baltic States News

Kiel Intros Germany's Largest Shore Power System

Image: Siemens

The Port of Kiel commissioned Siemens to build Germany’s largest shore power system to date which is capable of supplying two ships simultaneously.With a power of 16 megavolt amperes (MVA), the Siharbor solution will supply two ships simultaneously with certified eco-power, for the first time. This will reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 8,000 tons.The system is expected to go into test operation within the 2020 cruise ship season. Maritime shipping plays a special role in Kiel. The port is the point of departure for cruises and has ferry connections to the Baltic states and Scandinavia.

US Refiners Grab HSFO on Back of IMO 2020

© Fotos von Schiffen / Adobe Stock

U.S. refiners are scooping up cheap high-sulfur fuel oil for processing from Russia and the Baltic states as they take advantage of new shipping rules that have cut demand for the dirtier marine fuel, according to oil traders and shipping data.U.S. refiners Valero Corp, Chevron Corp and Phillips 66 have been buying HSFO, traders said, taking advantage of their complex operations to turn HSFO blended with crude oils into products like diesel, gasoil and gasoline.This month, 2.2 million tonnes of fuel oil, largely from Russia and the Baltic states…

KN Bags $148Mn Loan for its LNG Terminal

Image: Klaipedos Nafta

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil terminal operator AB 'Klaipedos Nafta' (KN) have signed a EUR 134.1 million (USD 148 million) loan agreement to optimize costs of LNG terminal.The 25-year maturity loan will be directed to finance the rent payable for the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU).“Through this loan agreement we are continuing to support Lithuania´s security of energy supply, a strategically important objective for our member country”, said Henrik Normann…

Estonia's Eesti Energia to Import Novatek Gas

Pic: Klaipedos nafta

Estonia's energy group Eesti Energia is all set to import gas from Russia's largest private gas company Novatek via Lithuania's LNG terminal based in Klaipeda, which is operated by KN,  in September.The contract with the new Klaipeda LNG terminal user was signed on Thursday. It is planned that the first cargo of  Eesti Energia in the history of Klaipėda LNG Terminal will arrive in Klaipėda at the end of September. “The contract signed with Eesti Energia confirms that the conditions for using our reliable terminal satisfy the users of the terminal and natural gas users in Lithuania and abroad.

Klaipeda LNG in Full Capacity

Image: Klaipedos Nafta

Lithuania's liquefied natural gas (LNG)  terminal Klaipėdos Nafta (KN) said that its terminal capacities are now fully booked for the rest of the Gas Year, following the favorable situation in the international gas markets that has been determining the highest operative efficiency of the LNG terminal since the launch of its activities.The Gas Year is calculated from 1 October of the current year until 30 September of the following year.According to a press note from the operator of the Klaipėda Oil Terminal based in Klaipėda…

Vattenfall May Raise Offshore Wind Target

(Photo: Vattenfall)

Sweden's Vattenfall may raise its target for installing offshore wind power generation in Europe beyond the 11,000 megawatts (MW) it now plans to have in place by 2025, an executive said.Gunnar Groebler, the Swedish power firm's board member in charge of wind, had announced the 11,000 MW target in January, after installed capacity reached 3,000 MW at the end of 2018.But he told Reuters on Wednesday that such targets needed "constant monitoring and reviewing.""It could become more, as we notice the market is very dynamic and we wish to keep or expand our market share…

EU Funding for Polish LNG Terminal Expansion

Pic: European Commission

The Polish government and the Polskie LNG company signed a grant agreement on 24 April for the extension of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Świnoujście, in north-western Poland on the Baltic Sea coast.Almost EUR 128 million from the European Regional Development Fund is invested in extending this terminal, which is the only facility of its size in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe.Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: "The extension of the Świnoujście terminal will help diversify natural gas supply sources and improve the country’s energy security.

Poland and Lithuania Agree to Build Undersea Power Cable

Polish and Lithuanian power grid operators said on Friday they had agreed to build a high voltage direct current (HVDC) underwater cable by 2025 as part of a plan to connect the electricity grids of the Baltic states with those of the European Union.Poland's PSE and Lithuania's Litgrid said they signed an initial cooperation agreement regarding what they called a "Harmony Link", with an investment decision expected in 2020.EU Climate Commissioner Arias Canete was quoted in a statement as saying the cross-border project was a clear sign of how political and professional accords were helping the three Baltic states gain full control o

Merkel Sees No Threat in New Gas Pipe to Russia, Poland Disagrees

Photo: Nord Stream 2

The planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Germany and Russia poses no threat to Europe's energy security, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, publicly disagreeing with her Polish counterpart. Poland, Ukraine and Baltic states fear the pipeline to be laid under the Baltic Sea would increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas and could cut off Ukraine - still fighting a conflict with Russian-backed separatists - from gas transit fees. "We had different views on the Nord Stream issue," Merkel told reporters at a joint press conference with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Berlin.

Trump Nominee for Key U.S. Energy Post Would Oppose Russia Pipeline

U.S. President Donald Trump (Photo: White House)

U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for a top State Department energy position said on Thursday he would oppose Russia's proposed natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany - the Nord Stream 2. "The United States' position, it is my understanding, is to strongly oppose that pipeline," Francis Fannon, who has been nominated Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, said during his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing. Fannon said he would "continue to advance alternate ways" to decrease Europe's need for Russian energy.

Lithuania Receives First U.S. LNG Cargo

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC))

Lithuania received its first spot shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States on Monday, the result of a deal aimed at reducing dependence on Russia and consolidating relations with Washington amid increased tension in the region. Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 has spooked the Baltic states, once ruled from Moscow but now members of both NATO and the European Union. "This is crucially important for the whole region," said Lithuania's Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevicius. "We want…

EU Divided On New US Sanctions against Russia

European Commission preparations to retaliate against proposed new U.S. sanctions on Russia that could affect European firms are likely to face resistance within a bloc divided on how to deal with Moscow, diplomats, officials and experts say. A bill agreed by U.S. Senate and House leaders foresees fines for companies aiding Russia to build energy export pipelines. EU firms involved in Nord Stream 2, a 9.5 billion euro ($11.1 billion) project to carry Russian gas across the Baltic, are likely to be affected.

EU Nations Back Plan for Talks with Russia Over Pipeline

Thirteen EU nations voiced support on Monday for a proposal to empower the bloc's executive to negotiate with Russia over objections to a new Russian gas pipeline to Germany, despite opposition from Berlin. At an informal debate among EU energy ministers, Germany's partners in the 28-nation bloc spoke out against Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline plan to pump more gas directly from Russia's Baltic coast to Germany. EU nations are expected to vote in the autumn on the European Commission's request for a mandate to negotiate with Russia on behalf of the bloc as a whole.

Lithuania Inks U.S. LNG Supply Deal

File Image: Credit QGTC

Lithuania's state-owned gas trader Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas (LDT) said on Monday it had signed a deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly from the United States for the first time and expects to receive a delivery in the second half of August. The deal is with a unit of Cheniere Energy and is part Lithuania's efforts to diversify its gas suppliers and reduce its reliance on Russia's Gazprom. LDT, part of state-owned energy group Lietuvos Energija, signed a deal last year with Koch Supply & Trading for LNG supplies throughout 2017. Cheniere Energy was expected to supply LNG from a U.S. field, an LDT spokesman told Reuters.

EU Seeks Mandate for Talks with Russia Over Nord Stream 2

The European Union's executive on Friday asked 28 governments in the bloc to give it the authority to negotiate with Russia to ensure its laws are respected in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a project that has divided EU states. Poland, the Baltic states and others say Nord Stream 2 would increase EU dependence on Russia's Gazprom, which already supplies about a third of the bloc's gas. Backers such as Germany say it will offer the EU cheaper supplies. The bloc wants to diversify EU gas supplies and the Commission has said the pipeline could let "a single supplier" - Russia - strengthen its position in the EU market.

Poland has Natgas Exports 'understanding' with U.S.

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Fotmart)

Poland's desire to cut natural gas imports from Russia has led to an "understanding" with the United States to work toward a deal to export liquefied natural gas to its new Baltic Sea terminal, the country's deputy prime minister said on Wednesday. Mateusz Morawiecki, who is also the minister of economic development and finance, said in an interview that discussions with new U.S. "The word agreement is probably premature. Understanding? Absolutely," Morawiecki said as he wrapped up a three-day U.S. visit with stops in Washington, Boston and New York.

McCain has "concerns" about Tillerson nomination

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, will have to explain his relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at his confirmation hearing, senior Republican senator John McCain said on Thursday. McCain, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, also called President Putin "a thug and a murderer". Speaking on a tour of the Baltic states, where there is widespread concern that Moscow wants to reassert its power across the region, McCain said he had concerns about Tillerson, who opposed sanctions on Russia after its annexation of Crimea.

Latvia's Latvenergo Plans to Trade Gas in the Baltics

Lavia's state-owned utility Latvenergo plans to trade gas in neighbouring Estonia and at home as its domestic market is liberalized next year, its Chief Operating Officer said on Thursday. Latvia has decided to open its gas market for competition from April next year after decades of a supply monopoly by Russian Gazprom. "Yes, we are looking at this direction (of becoming a gas trader) and we are interested in that," COO Maris Kunickis told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy conference. He said the company could start trading gas in Estonia…

Gazprom Prepares Cold Reception for US Super-cooled Gas

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States is set to do battle in Europe but Russia's Gazprom is setting the stage, preparing a cold reception for the super-cooled gas set to cross the Atlantic. A weakened rouble has lowered Gazprom's production costs by a fifth while its profits on dollar-denominated gas sales to Europe last year doubled in rouble terms. Gazprom has managed to increase sales despite a push by the European Union to curb Russian energy imports, using discounts, renegotiation of unpopular oil-linked contracts and gas sales via auctions. Spurring Gazprom's charm offensive is a looming showdown as a wave of U.S.

Export Diversification Boosting Gazprom’s Competitivenes

Gas exports were essential for Russia's economy and fundamental for the energy cooperation between Russia and Europe.  Photo Gazprom

Gazprom's Board of Directors noted that gas exports were essential for Russia's economy and fundamental for the energy cooperation between Russia and Europe. This is evidenced by a more than 45-year history of Russian gas supplies to European consumers. During that time, Gazprom's share in the European gas consumption increased substantially and hit a record level of 31 per cent in 2015. The reliability of gas supplies to consumers is Gazprom's main competitive advantage. This is why the diversification of export…