* Plans to import 0.75 bcm of gas a year
* LNG to reduce dependence on Russian gas
VILNIUS, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Lithuanian oil company Klaipedos Nafta has received proposals from 16 companies to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Baltic state, the company said on Tuesday.
The Baltic state seeks to wean off dependence on energy imports from ex-Soviet master Russia, its sole supplier of natural gas, and has called an international LNG supply tender.
“We had unexpectedly high interest from LNG suppliers... It would help to put an end to the dependence on a single gas supply source,” said Klaipedos Chief Executive Rokas Masiulis.
Klaipedos aims to sign the LNG supply contract by mid-2013, said in a statement.
It has previously said it wanted to buy 0.75 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas per year starting in 2015 for 10 year period.
Lithuania imported 3.4 bcm of natural gas in 2011 from Russia.
Klaipedos has already signed a deal to charter a floating LNG regasification and storage unit (FSRU) from Norway’s Hoegh LNG from end-2014.
Lithuania officials have said companies from the United States, Qatar and Norway were considered as potential LNG suppliers.
Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Writing by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Jason Neely