TALLINN – Finland is of the opinion that if Estonian companies want to get liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Inkoo LNG terminal with priority access, then, according to European Union rules, Estonia should acquire a stake in the terminal, the news portal of Estonian public broadcaster ERR writes.
"As far as I understand, if we want both Finns and Estonians to have an extraordinary preferential right to buy gas in the upcoming winter, this would require the Estonians' participation in the financing of this terminal," Rikku Huttunen, director general of the energy department of the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, said.
However, the Estonian minister of economic affairs and infrastructure is of the opinion that Estonia has already contributed by building reception capacity in Paldiski.
Nevertheless, 30 million euros have been earmarked in this year's additional state budget for the acquisition of a stake and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said at the end of October that negotiations with Finland to acquire a stake in FSRU OY, the company that leased the floating LNG terminal, through Estonian system operator Elering will continue.
At the same time, Elering CEO Taavi Veskimagi said at a sitting of the state budget control select committee on Oct. 24 that even if Elering acquired a shareholding in the Finnish company that has chartered the LNG floating terminal, this would not give Estonian companies priority access to the terminal.
"There is no connection whatsoever between holding a stake and the use of the terminal. It is very clearly an open terminal, open for all market participants in the region," Veskimagi said, pointing out that such an advantage is not allowed, among other things, by EU market rules.
The Elering CEO said a possible investment in the Finnish terminal company can only be viewed from the point of view of economic logic, and according to the system operator, there is currently no economic logic in this investment.