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Producer aims to ship Baltic's first Russian LNG before Gazprom

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Reuters are reporting that LNG Gorskaya, a privately-owned Russian LNG producer, has launched a US$379 million project to become the first LNG exporter from Russia's European coast.

Russia expects to send LNG to Europe by the end of 2017 from its distant Arctic peninsula of Yamal but a plant on its Baltic coast could establish the country as a more immediate supplier of LNG in a region already dependent on piped Russian gas.

The company will build a floating LNG plant off the port of Gorskaya, not far from Saint Petersburg, which will be fed by a 12 km pipeline from Gazprom.

The LNG will then be shipped to seven Baltic ports outside Russia using three tankers already on order from Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation.

LNG Gorskaya has agreed to build floating bunkering stations and storage facilities at the Baltic ports that will be able to supply LNG-fuelled vessels with mostly Russian LNG by 2020.

The project means LNG Gorskaya could deliver the Baltic's first large-scale, locally produced Russian LNG three years ahead of Gazprom's Baltic LNG project, a much delayed plan the state-owned gas giant now expects to be running by 2023.

LNG Gorskaya's initial annual LNG output will be 0.42 million t, which could triple within three years. Yamal LNG's peak production is expected to be 16.5 million t.

Russia already produces some LNG near the Baltic, at Pskov near Estonia. The 23 000 t of LNG produced there each year are delivered by road to Estonian gas company Eesti Gaas.

Besides Lubeck and Montu, LNG Gorskaya has also signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with the ports of Parnu in Estonia, Grenaa in Denmark, Piteo in Sweden, Kotka-Hamina in Finland and Liepaja in Latvia, to build bunkering stations scheduled to be ready by May 2019.

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