Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis presented the LNG terminal maintenance model in the Seimas for the second time, after the bill failed to pass in the first hearing. This time, 76 MPs voted to support the scheme, three opposed it and nine abstained. The parliament will discuss the project as a matter of urgency on November 12.
Lithuania built the LNG terminal to further its energy independence and provide the country with an alternative to importing gas from Russia, its sole supplier until recently.
However, as natural gas demand has dropped 40 percent over the last four years, the previous financing model to cover the cost of the investment and the terminal’s upkeep has become unsustainable, threatening to inflate heating bills for ordinary consumers. Gas is used for heating by the majority of households in the country.
Under the new proposed scheme, heating prices could rise 1-2% in Utena, Šalčininkai, Akmenė and Šakiai. However, prices should drop 1-10% in other cities.
Consumers would have to declare what amounts of gas they have used to be taxed.