European Commission grants Estonia, Finland €187.5 million for gas pipeline

A gas pipeline in Estonia. Photo is illustrative. (Urmas Luik/Pärnu Postimees)
7/15/2016 2:35 PM
Source: BNS
Category: Business

EU member states agreed on Friday on the European Commission's proposal to invest 263 million euros in key European energy infrastructure, including 187.5 million euros on Balticconnector, the first gas pipeline to link Estonia to Finland.

"Once completed, the interconnector will end the dependence of Finland upon a single gas supplier, strengthening the security of supply in the Eastern Baltic Sea region," the EC said in a press release.

Estonian transmission system operator Elering and newly-established Finnish state-owned company Baltic Connector Oy sought EU financing in the amount of 75 percent of the project's total cost of 250 million euros, which was granted in full.

An additional 18.6 million euros will be granted to financially support the enhancement of the Estonian-Latvian interconnector, which according to the EC will enable better access to storage in Latvia, ensure a more diverse natural gas transmission network in the Baltic Sea Region as well as further enable the success of the Balticconnector project.

The EC has previously allocated 5.4 million euros for surveys related to the planning of the Balticconnector pipeline. The application under the first 2016 call for proposals with the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) was filed by Elering and Baltic Connector Oy in April of this year.

The underwater pipeline connecting the gas transmission networks of Estonia and Finland is due to be completed in 2019. The interconnection is a prerequisite to the creation of a common Estonian-Finnish gas market and improving the security of gas supply in the region.

The CEF's second 2016 call for proposals with an indicative budget of 600 million euros is current underway and will close to applications on November 8.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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