Gas Association: Estonia must have preferential access to Finnish terminal

  • 2022-10-12
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – In a situation where the government has essentially backed down on  its decision to establish a liquefied natural gas (LNG) reception capacity in Paldiski from this autumn, and where the volumes of the Klaipeda terminal have been divided exclusively between Lithuania, Poland and Latvia for the long term, Estonian gas consumers must be guaranteed preferential access to the Inkoo LNG terminal in Finland, the Estonian Gas Association says.

"As yesterday it was publicly stated for the first time that the LNG vessel leased by the Finns will not come to Estonia, today it is time to take the next step and say that no LNG vessels are likely to berth at Paldiski this winter. Of the 100 percent probability that there used to be in spring, only a few percent remain today," said Heiko Heitur, CEO of the Estonian Gas Association.

According to Heitur, the time window for leasing another vessel now that 50 days is left until the completion of the port has closed.

"In such a situation, we need to lay down the terms of use of the Finnish terminal very precisely now and rule out the possibility of backing down on agreements, as has already happened twice. In 2014, the Finns chose not to build the terminal, and now they have reneged on bringing the vessel to Paldiski. In addition to the minister of economic affairs, the gas market expects a visible contribution in this process from Elering, the company responsible for the security of supply and project manager of the terminal, and reminds the system operator that 'us' still means Estonia, not Finland," Heitur added.

The head of the Estonian Gas Association stressed that it is first and foremost the industry that needs natural gas. 

Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut and Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintila made a decision in principle on Monday that the floating LNG terminal that is slated to supply both Estonia and Finland with LNG will arrive in Finland by the end of the year.

The ministers said that with the rules to be established for the use of the terminal, priority will be given to servicing gas consumers in Estonia and Finland.