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Alvora will have to replace dubious parts of Lithuanian-Polish gas line – ministry

As Amber Grid, Lithuania’s state-owned natural gas transmission system operator, has filed a claim against Alvora, the main contractor of the Gas Interconnection Lithuanian-Polish (GIPL) regarding the possible installation of Russian-made connecting elbows, Lithuania’s Energy Ministry says the dubious parts must be replaced and this must be done “within the shortest possible time”.

“As the contractor has not fulfilled its obligations properly, has not yet provided the correct certificates for these parts, it must replace these parts within the shortest possible time,” the Energy Ministry told BNS on Monday.

“GIPL is a project of strategic importance. Therefore, we cannot have any doubts about the reliability of this pipeline, even though we are talking about parts worth 300,000 euros in a 116 million euro project,” the ministry underlined.

If Alvora fails to submit a schedule for the replacement of the parts in questions within the next few weeks and does not start the necessary work, Amber Grid will have to use the bank guarantee of 7 million euros to be able to carry out the necessary work.

“According to Amber Grid, the change of parts will not affect the operation of the pipeline itself. The final answers regarding this project and the situation will be provided by the investigating regulator (the National Energy Regulatory Council – BNS) and the prosecution service,” the Energy Ministry said.

The 15min.lt reported about Amber Grid’s claim against Alvora on Sunday.

The claim has not been made public due to confidentiality reasons, but the companies’ correspondence shows that the claim has to do with the connecting elbows, and Amber Grid was informed about their possible Russian origin back in 2021. Alvora was then asked to provide documents to prove the origin and quality of the parts.

Also, Amber Grid asked the bank to extend the guarantee granted for the project until July and intends to make use of it. The total guarantee is 7 million euros.

The pipeline has around 500 elbows of questionable origin, and their total value is around 300,000 euros.

Alvora has not yet disclosed the manufacturers of these elbows and claims that Amber Grid’s claim only refers to the adequacy of the documentation for the elbows.

BNS reminds that the public broadcaster LRT’s Investigation Team was the first to report on Alvora’s deal for connecting parts with a company that is part of ChelPipe Group, a Russian company supporting the Kremlin’s military infrastructure, back in 2020.

In the wake of the scandal, Amber Grid instructed Alvora to terminate the deal with the Russians and look for European producers.

Alvora is suspected of then concocting a scheme to cover things up by using forged certificates from European companies for Russian parts and Alvora allegedly installed ChelPipe-made parts under forged certificates from Polish, Romanian and Latvian companies.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)


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