TALLINN - Estonian Economy Minister Juhan Parts has sent a letter to his Latvian counterpart, Artis Kampars (Unity), sharply criticizing Latvia’s intention to build the Baltic countries’ joint liquefied gas terminal in Riga with the European Union’s support, writes Eesti Paevaleht. The main requirement set by the European Union is that the new terminal must make gas supplies to the Baltic countries more secure, which is what Parts questions in his letter to Kampars.
“The liquefied natural gas terminal that is to be built in Riga, and that will be linked to Latvia’s underground gas storage facility, will not make gas supplies to Estonia more secure, because we will still depend on underground gas storage facilities, just as we do now,” writes Parts.
Parts also says that the contracts on the use and filling up of Latvia’s gas storage facilities can be broken, which would turn the gas supply system upside down if the terminal project is implemented, because Latvia’s and Lithuania’s long-term agreements with Gazprom do not allow these countries to sell gas to third countries. Parts asked Kampars to explain how Latvia envisions the development of joint infrastructure and the gas market for gas supplies to customers in all three Baltic countries. The EU has said that the liquefied natural gas terminal should include investors who do not depend on the current gas market. All three Baltic countries and Finland would use the terminal; however, agreement on a location for building the terminal has not yet been reached as each Baltic country wants it built in its own territory. Several Estonian companies have announced that they are prepared to build the terminal.