TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said during government press conference on Thursday that the government has been assured by both state-owned electricity and gas system operator Elering as well as by the private sector that a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will be procured for the country and that the infrastructure will be completed by the fall or winter of this year.
"Everyone has confirmed that a world record will be set with these construction works in any case. And that it should be completed by fall or winter this year," Kallas said. "I very much hope that these promises will be kept."
The prime minister said that both the state and the private sector have their own concerns about the establishment of the infrastructure for the terminal and that in her view, these concerns should also be addressed symmetrically.
"If one of the parties is not ready by the set date, they should pay a fine to the other party and vice versa. This would assuage fears while at the same time it would also put some pressure for neither of the parties to drag their feet," she said.
Kallas acknowledged that while the government cannot do anything to boost the establishment of the LNG terminal, it can take certain steps to ensure the security of gas supply. For example, the government has acquired 1 terawatt-hour worth of gas stocks and submitted legal amendments to the parliament which would ensure gas supply to protected consumers, including households, in case of a gas shortage. The state has also signed agreements with Latvia and Finland to ensure mutual solidarity in case of such a shortage.
The prime minister said that as the private sector announced last week that it would take over the procurement of the floating terminal, the government has withdrawn from a cooperation agreement signed with Finland at the start of May for the joint rental and management of an LNG terminal.