Estonia and Finland to cooperate for floating LNG terminal

Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas and Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä have signed a memorandum of mutual understanding establishing the framework for cooperation between the two countries to ensure reception capacity for liquid natural gas (LNG).

The memorandum of understanding signed by the ministers states that the joint project aimed at ensuring gas supply security will be implemented as quickly as possible, but no later than by the end of 2022. The plan is to lease a floating terminal whose annual regasification capacity is at least 30 TWh. Estonia and Finland will share the cost of the terminal proportionally to how much gas each country uses.

“It makes sense for good neighbours to launch major energy projects across borders. Estonia operates on the same gas market as Finland and a new source of natural gas is something we both need to secure right now in order to bolster energy security throughout our region and put an end to our use of Russian gas.”

Minister Aas

Two companies are involved in bringing the floating terminal to the area: the Estonian system administrator Elering and the Finnish company Gasgrid. According to the plan, the floating terminal will begin operating in whichever country has the infrastructure needed to service the terminal in place first, and thereafter at the Port of Inkoo in Finland.

Minister Aas emphasized that bringing the LNG terminal to the area is a temporary measure to ensure security of supply. “What we are working to achieve is for us to be able to get by without Russian gas as early as next winter,” he explained. “The situation on the European gas market is becoming more unpredictable: things are changing in a matter of days, not weeks or months. That is why it makes sense to entrust the establishment of the short-term reception capacity that is needed – and to do so as quickly as possible – to the gas system administrators in our two countries, since they are already responsible for ensuring the security of the gas supply. How long this solution remains in place depends on how soon longer-term, market-based solutions take root in our region.”

The next step in this process is the signing of a cooperation agreement between Elering and Gasgrid. The construction of a quay at the Port of Paldiski in Estonia is being prepared at the same time, with negotiations ongoing in regard to the conditions of the construction project, as well as for the leasing of the floating terminal.

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