Suspension of Balticconector has not disrupted Latvian natural gas supply system - Melnis

  • 2024-02-20
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The suspension of the Balticconnector gas pipeline connecting Estonia and Finland last autumn due to a gas leak has so far not disrupted the Latvian natural gas supply system, Climate and Energy Minister Kaspars Melnis (Greens/Farmers) told LETA.

"The event has had no impact on heating bills for households, heating companies or the competitiveness of manufacturing companies. Natural gas prices have fallen significantly since October 8, almost by half," says Melnis.

The Ministry of Climate and Energy (KEM) notes that in less than five months, natural gas flows have entered the Baltic States via the Poland-Lithuania Interconnector (GIPL) and the Klaipeda LNG terminal. During the same period, natural gas flows into Latvia amounted to 2.02 terawatt hours (TWh), while 0.4 TWh of natural gas was pumped into the Incukalns underground gas storage facility during these less than five months.

The Ministry also notes that the Incukalns underground gas storage facility is at 55.7 percent capacity at the moment - it contains about 13 TWh of natural gas.

KEM representatives also stress that the existing amount of natural gas is sufficient until the end of the season. The Incukalns underground natural gas storage facility is currently used by Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

As reported, the Balticconnector gas pipeline connecting Estonia and Finland was damaged in unclear circumstances on October 8.

Repair work on the Balticconnector is scheduled to start in early March, Estonian transmission system operator Elering has announced.

The planned date of completion is April 22 if the repairs can be carried out as planned. According to the current assessment, weather conditions should not interfere with the works, Elering said.

The Balticconnector was put into operation in early 2020. The underwater section of the pipeline from Paldiski in Estonia to Inkoo in Finland is 77 kilometers long.