TALLINN – Although a floating storage and regasification vessel for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is on its way here, it is unknown whether it will be moored in Finland or Estonia, and therefore Estonia should lease a similar vessel of its own, which would be definitively moored at the terminal now under construction in Paldiski, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut says.
"The government has not yet discussed it, but we will do so in the near future. I think we should do it. The analyses of Estonia's security of supply show that there is enough gas in the Finnish-Baltic region, so in a normal situation we don't need it, but there's a war going on," Sikkut told public broadcaster ERR.
She said the floating storage and regasification unit would be leased for this winter.
A similar proposal was voiced earlier this week by the Estonian Gas Association, which said that since the LNG terminal to be completed in Finland will allegedly barely be able to meet the demand of Finnish gas consumers in the coming winter, Estonia should lease its own floating unit, which would serve Estonia as well as Latvia.
Commenting on an assertion of state-owned electricity and gas system operator Elering that gas supplies will be sufficient this coming winter, CEO of privately held energy company Alexela Marti Haal said at Tuesday's sitting of the Riigikogu finance committee that the region may see a shortage of natural gas this winter.
Haal said the shortfall is due to the lower than expected capacity of the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) leased by Gasgrid Finland -- two terawatt-hours per month from January -- and higher than forecast demand in the Finnish-Baltic gas consumption region.
At the end of August, industry news portal LNGPrime reported that Exemplar, a 150,900-cubic-meter capacity FSRU of US company Excelerate Energy, was heading towards Europe after completing its winter supply contract in Argentina. Exemplar will serve Finland, Estonia and the other Baltic states under a 10-year charter deal the US LNG firm signed with Finland's Gasgrid.