RIGA - European Parliament member Kriajanis Karins (Latvia’s Unity party) says that he does not understand why Latvian Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts is “doing nothing to help Estonia win the bid” for the construction of a regional liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in its territory, instead of in Finland, reports LETA.
According to Karins, having the LNG constructed in Estonia, instead of in Finland, is much more favorable for Latvia, as this terminal would be geographically closer. He said that Pavluts is “sitting with his hands in his lap” and doing nothing to help achieve a solution that is in Latvia’s interests.
“I am infuriated that our economy minister is doing nothing to support the project in Estonia,” Karins said.
Seeing that the final decision will be made by the European Commission, Latvia has the capability of influencing the final decision and help Estonia win the bid to construct the LNG terminal. “But our government representatives are doing nothing and are not supporting the LNG terminal to be constructed in Estonia, which is clearly also in our interests,” the European parliament member added.
Booz & Company, a consulting firm hired by the European Commission for the assessment of the best location for construction of the Baltic region’s liquefied natural gas terminal after the Baltics were not able to agree amongst themselves, says in its final report that building the terminal in Estonia would achieve a number of advantages, adding that building the terminal in Finland would have similar advantages.
Lithuania is constructing a smaller liquefied natural gas terminal in its territory.
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger’s cabinet chief Michael Hager, who attended an electric supply reliability conference of Elering on June 3, said that he is one hundred percent certain that the LNG terminal will be built by the Gulf of Finland, but it is difficult to decide whether it would be built on the northern (Finland) or southern (Estonia) shore of the gulf, reports Public Broadcasting.
Since Estonia and Finland didn’t manage to reach an agreement on the location of the LNG terminal, the decision is now up to the European Commission. Hager said that it is too soon to tell which of the three proposed projects, Paldiski or Muuga in Estonia or Inkoo in Finland has the most of potential.
“We received the letter from the two governments which asks us to make a decision. We have to find the most suitable, transparent and effective way. We haven’t yet decided how to do it, but we have to do it,” he said.
“Naturally, we would have expected a clear solution, but we see in other member states too that when the stage of real projects is reached, it is hard to reach an agreement.”
He said that the project needs progress as fast as possible but did not reveal a specific date when the European Commission could make its decision.