October 23, 2012 / 9:57 AM / 7 years ago

Lithuania terminal calls LNG supply tender

* Plans to import 0.75 bcm of gas a year

* Tender deadline is Oct. 29, 1700 EET (1500 GMT

OSLO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Lithuanian oil terminal Klaipedos Nafta has called a tender to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Baltic state and expects to sign a contract by the end of this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Lithuania, which now depends 100 percent on natural gas pipeline supplies from Russia, wants to diversify its energy imports and get access to gas spot markets.

The country has signed a deal with Norway’s Hoegh LNG to lease a floating LNG regasification and storage unit (FSRU) to be moored at the Klaipeda port on the eastern coast of the Baltic states from end-2014.

Klaipedos Nafta, majority-state owned, which is in charge of also developing the LNG terminal, said in a statement it wanted to sign a contract for importing 0.75 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year through the planned terminal, with a contract “preferably” for 10 years.

Lithuania imported 3.4 bcm of natural gas in 2011.

The deadline to send in proposals is Oct. 29 at 1700 EET (1500 GMT).

“We would like to sign the supply contract as soon as possible, but we don’t know how negotiations would go,” Rokas Masiulis, the chief executive of Klaipedos, told Reuters.

“We want the contract to be signed by the end of this year.”

Klaipedos Nafta wants to see the first LNG delivered to the Lithuania terminal in January 2015.

In 2011, Klaipedos signed a memorandum of understanding with Houston-based Cheniere Energy on possible LNG deliveries.

Chenier said last month it was likely to start selling spot LNG from its Sabine Pass project in Louisiana as early as late 2015.

Masiulis declined to comment on if Cheniere was still considered to be a potential supplier.

Lithuania officials have previously said other potential suppliers, including from Norway and Qatar could also be considered. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by James Jukwey)

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