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DIRECTOR WALTHER SIGNS GRANT SUPPORTING DEVELOPMENT OF LITHUANIAN LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS TERMINAL

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA (September 15, 2008) – Director Walther awarded a grant today that will assist in the development of a liquefied natural gas import terminal in Lithuania, in support of the country's intent to diversify source of supply. The grant will be used to fund analysis on the most suitable site and the development of technical specifications for a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

"Energy security is an important element of a country's overall national security," said USTDA Director Larry W. Walther. "This project has the potential to increase energy security and independence here in Lithuania and throughout the Baltics, since the terminal could serve as an entry point for natural gas destined not only for Lithuania, but for Latvia and Estonia as well."

The $826,501 grant was conferred during a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Economy. Director Walther and Lithuanian Minister of Economy Vytas Navickas signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. Government and Ministry of Energy, respectively. U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania John A. Cloud and Undersecretary of Economy Anicetas Ignotas signed as witnesses to the grant agreement.

Lithuania and the other Baltic states currently depend on Russian imports to meet their demand for natural gas. The Lithuanian Government has prioritized diversifying the country's sources of energy and believes an LNG terminal is a promising option in addition to pipelines in transporting gas over long distances. In addition, it provides consumers of gas, such as Lithuania, the benefits of increased flexibility and competition in a quickly developing global market. USTDA has extensive experience in the energy sector, and has helped mobilize U.S. private sector expertise to successfully plan and implement LNG projects in several countries. The USTDA-funded feasibility study will provide crucial information to the project's key decision makers, including recommendations as to the most appropriate site and technology for the terminal.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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