The European Commission yesterday revealed a list of 250 proposed energy projects worth billions that are vying for EU funding. Among them, the competing propositions for an Estonian, Finnish and Latvian LNG terminal are all still included, signalling that a quick end game is not in the cards.
A decision is likely to come next spring, as the European Commission waits for the EU's multi-year financial framework to be confirmed before the end of the year. Meanwhile, each country's projects must submit investment plans by the end of this month. Estonia has two proposals in the running - one would be operated by the Port of Tallinn in Muuga and the other by Alexela Energia in Paldiski.
Estonia, Latvia and Finland have not been able to come to an agreement over which country should get the terminal, with economic ministers resolving last spring to leave the decision to Brussels. But whichever country will get it, experts say an LNG terminal will come. The European Commissioner on Energy Günther Oettinger told ETV it was a priority issue.
"We must decide which LNG terminal is most suitable. We are in contact with the ministers and we will make a decision next year," said Oettinger.
The Estonian minister of economic affairs, Juhan Parts, said: "Being included in this list of projects means that these projects are due to be inspected by the competition authorities of the related countries, foremost regarding the aspect of the investments' impact on the consumer, concerning both gas and electricity management. After today's decision it will take about six months. As a result, a decision will be made by the European Commission on the investment support for all of these projects at the ready."
Other Estonian proposed energy projects on yesterday's list were the linking of the networks of the Kilingi-Nõmme and Riga co-generation plants, the Harku-Sindi power line, the linking of the Baltic states with Central European networks, a power plant in Muuga, the Estonian-Finnish natural gas "Balticconnector," and improvements to the Estonian-Latvian natural gas link.