Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas is participating in the Northern Future Forum in Helsinki today where he will also discuss a proposed joint liquefied gas terminal with his Finnish counterpart, Alexander Stubb.
The proposal to build liquefied gas terminals in Estonia and Finland, linked by a pipeline, was initially submitted in February by energy companies in the two nations, including Estonia's Alexela Energia, Eesti Gaas and Finnish company Gasum. The project needs support from the European Commission, as it will rely heavily on EU subsidies. If it succeeds, it would increase the energy diversification of the two nations, in light of the unpredictable behavior by Russia, the main gas provider for both countries.
The plan hit a setback recently when the European Commission decided not to fund Alexela Energia and Finnish energy company Gasum's joint projects. And although both Finnish and Estonian authorities agree that pipeline between Estonia and Finland, and terminals on each end, are a necessity, they have been unable to reach an agreement on details.
Rõivas has insisted that the government will continue to prioritize the efforts to cut Estonia's dependence on Russian gas and build up alternative sources of gas supply – and this means continuing with the LNG project.
Rõivas also talked about the project with Stubb at the European Council meeting in October, where the parties agreed that the best opportunity to reach an agreement is at the Forum meeting. Rõivas indicated Estonia is ready for the compromise with Finland in regard to location of the terminal.
The Northern Future Forum is a form of cooperation at the level of heads of state from the Nordic countries. It includes the Baltic states, Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom. The prime ministers, business leaders and experts from these countries will meet to discuss possibilities for raising the competitiveness of the region.