Postimees daily says that Finnish company Gasum, where the Russian energy giant Gazprom is a major shareholder, is in no hurry to apply for EU funding for the regional LNG Terminal project, a joint project with Estonia that this week hit a snag at the European Commission.
Estonia and Finland plan paired liquified gas terminals in both nations, linked by a pipeline.
The companies involved in the project are Alexela Energia and Eesti Gaas on the Estonian side and Gasum in Finland. (Eesti Gaas also has a minority Gazprom stake in it. Both Gasum and Eesti Gaas will have to divest themselves of gas infrastructure to comply with EU law, Eesti Gaas having taken such a commitment for next year.)
According to Majandus24, a site operated by Postimees, the project in Finland is lagging behind the Estonian one, although the PR manager of Gasum Olga Väisänen said the company is not deliberately hindering the project and it will be completed in time.
The deadline for this round of financing is August 19. On Wednesday, the project hit a snag when the European Commission raised some flags after companies involved in the project and its promoters presented their plan, but neither country said they were ready to abandon the paired model.
According to an official from the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the countries need to work on the structure of ownership and the operation of the terminals.
Marti Hääl, member of the board of Alexela Energia, refuted the claims made in Finnish media that the European Commission does not support two terminals. According to him, the commission is against the project, Estonia is ready to begin construction, while Finland is still applying for funding to begin looking for suitable locations.
However, the spokesperson of the EU’s energy commissioner Günther Oettinger said the project is at a standstill, because the two completely separate terminals contradict the requirements listed in the memorandum of understanding.