"The development of this project will increase the energy independence of Latvia and the Baltic region and will contribute significantly to the diversification of natural gas supplies and the further development of the natural gas market," a company press release said.
"The LNG terminal is a matter of Latvia's energy independence, and Virši, as a locally owned energy company, wants to contribute to the diversification of the country's energy supply routes. Participation of Virši in the development of the Skulte project is a well-considered step towards achieving the strategic goal of also becoming an energy company," said Jānis Vība, Chairman of the Board and CEO of AS Virši-A.
"We have studied in depth the location and financial model of the LNG terminal and concluded that it is the most cost-effective and functional natural gas import route in the Baltics, which is why we have decided to support the development of this infrastructure facility by participating in the project as a shareholder. We are confident that the consumers and businesses of Latvia will benefit from the successful implementation of this project," said Vība.
"The LNG terminal in Skulte as an infrastructure facility in combination with the Inčukalns underground natural gas storage facility is an excellent tandem not only for supplying Latvian consumption, but also for creating competitive natural gas supplies for the wider region, which includes the Baltic States as well as Finland and Poland," Vība said.
"We are very pleased with the involvement of Virši in the Skulte project as a leading national capital energy company. It is a strong confirmation of the Skulte terminal's position on the region's energy map, allowing us to offer natural gas at attractive prices to consumers and businesses. The experience, capacity and capability of Virši as a local partner will contribute to a faster implementation of the terminal project. AS Skulte LNG Terminal is also continuing negotiations with a pre-selected group of foreign industrial investors on the implementation of the project on the most favorable terms for the Latvian and regional market," said Renārs Miķelsons, General Manager of AS Skulte LNG Terminal.
The Skulte LNG terminal has yet to be built, but the Skulte project requires 34 km of direct pipeline connection to the existing Inčukalns underground gas storage facility. Established in 2016, Skulte LNG Terminal is developing a LNG import terminal project in the Skulte Port area with a direct pipeline connection to the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility. The company's shareholders are the National Gas Terminal Society and Peter A. Ragauss, an entrepreneur with experience in the energy sector in the US market.
Virši announced its strategic goal of growing into an energy company more than a year ago, becoming an energy trader actively using local green energy resources. AS VIRŠI-A is the largest domestic fuel trader, with 66 service stations and the company employs more than 650 people across all regions of Latvia. AS VIRŠI-A shares are trading on the Nasdaq Baltic First North Market.