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Political consultations to be held on regional LNG terminal

 RIGA, Nov 28 - Political consultations between the Baltics, Finland and the European Commission will continue on the construction of the regional liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, Economy Ministry State Secretary Juris Puce informed the business information portal ''Nozare.lv''.

According to the European Commission, the final decision on where the regional LNG terminal will be constructed will be made by the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan countries, and this meeting is yet to be called.

Puce said that a political agreement must be made first. A specific date for consultations has yet to be made, but he said that these consultations could take place on the sidelines of December's energy conference in Brussels.

Asked whether a reply has been received from European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, Puce said that the letter to the commissioner was only sent out on Friday.

The Latvian position on this matter is that, according to the initial agreement on criteria, the total cost of the project must be taken into account when selecting the most suitable place for the LNG terminal. The Economy Ministry believes that the report used different criteria, which was not agreed upon by the countries involved in the project. ''If there is a desire to use different criteria, a new agreement must be made between those involved,'' the Economy Ministry believes.

As reported, "Booz&Company", a consulting firm hired by the European Commission for the assessment of the best location for construction of the Baltic region's liquefied natural gas terminal, says in its final report that building the terminal in Estonia would achieve a number of advantages, adding that building the terminal in Finland would have similar advantages.

"Booz&Company" has concluded that building the terminal in Finland would also accomplish the European Commission's goals and give the same advantages as building the terminal in Estonia. However, Finland's demand for gas is currently fully covered by Russia's "Gazprom", and Finland will not need the gas terminal until 2025.

The decision on where the terminal is to be built will be taken by the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan countries, based on the "Booz&Company" findings.

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