Price of compressed natural gas up 70 percent from summer

An Eesti Gaas fueling station.
An Eesti Gaas fueling station. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

While the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) in Estonian fueling stations was around €0.90 per kg in the summer, the price has now increased to €1.50 per kg.

Alexela board member Tarmo Kärsna told ERR on Wednesday that prices for CNG in the summer were between €0.899-0.934 per kg, but they have increased to €1.47-1.51 as of Wednesday.

He said the price of CNG is related to the global market price of natural gas, which has gone up significantly in the recent months and the price increase in expected to continue until spring. "The price increase could be slowed or turned by a warm winter and the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline," Kärsna added.

CNG is used by new cars, but also public transportation vehicles in Tallinn and Tartu. The CEO of Tallinn public transport firm Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS (TLT) Deniss Boroditš has stated that the state should support the domestic production of biomethane more, because it could potentially replace all use of Russian natural gas and free Estonia of price swings.

Kärsna noted that CNG is still a cheaper fuel for driving than gasoline or diesel, regardless of increasing prices. "By converting the fuel consumption per km today, the cost of CNG per km is lower than that of petrol and diesel. I'll point out an example - the CNG consumption per 100 km for a 96 KW engine is €5.66 and the gasoline consumption of a 110 KW gasoline engine is €8.52," the Alexela board member said.

Olerex CEO Piret Miller told ERR that the prices for both CNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have both increased significantly this year, but CNG is still cheaper than gasoline and diesel.

"Gasoline and diesel prices have increased even more rapidly and have been considerably more volatile, the daily ups and downs have been rather steep. Since the prices of gasoline and diesel have not remained in one place, CNG is still cheaper to use than gasoline and diesel," Miller said.

The cost of CNG per kg in Olerex fuel stations is at €1.47.

LPG price has gone up by a fifth

The price of liquefied petroleum gas has also gone up compared to the summer, but not as significantly. "The prices of LPG fuel are between €0.739-0.799 per liter today. The price range in the summer was €0.639-0.699," Kärsna said.

Circle K Eesti motor fuel pricing manager Indrek Sassi told ERR that the retail price of LPG stood at €0.599 from March to July, but the per-liter price increased to €0.639 in August. The price currently stands at €0.724 per liter.

"The LPG price increase stems from the significant increase in the purchase price of LPG. The purchase price has gone up 55 percent in six months. The global market price of LPG develops alongside other energy products, depending on the supply and demand ratio," Sassi added.

Kärsna noted that when comparing prices for liquid fuels and LPG, they have moved in similar fashion and both will be dependent on the price of crude oil going forward.

"LPG is made from crude oil and the price is linked to the price movement of crude oil prices. Price increases there will certainly affect the price of LPG in the future, as well, there is no doubt," Kärsna said.

He added that LPG has not yet developed a so-called global market price. Trading is done on regional levels, where prices are mostly affected by regional producers and demand. Estonia is in one region with the other Baltic and eastern European countries.

An Eesti Gaas fueling station. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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