Alexela will construct the LNG terminal in Paldiski with Eesti Gaas and Tallink owner Infortar. The developer hopes to sign the construction contracts inside a week.
Executive manager of Infortar Martti Talgre said that Alexela's terminal project is the only one that can be completed by fall.
"Luckily, we had spent years on the project, planning and analyses. Design work and preparing for construction were in the final phase even before February 24," Alexela CEO Martti Hääl said, adding that talks with construction companies are underway. "We are tackling several processes that are usually done one after the other simultaneously," he said.
The developers plan to sign the contract in the coming weeks. "Interest has been considerable among builders, both on the local and international levels. We are largely in the finishing stages and hope to sign contracts and launch construction within the week. We have already ordered the materials and technology that usually sport longer delivery times to comply with the extremely short deadline," Hääl said.
He added that the biggest risk with the project is political, or whether states might go back to using Russian gas in the coming years. "That is the main thing we have asked from the state – a way to manage this particular risk," Hääl explained.
"Replacing Russian gas with LNG will not end up costing the taxpayer an arm and a leg," Hääl said. "Secondly, the mooring quay lies 700 meters from the shore and the Elering Paldiski compressor station used to send gas to Finland and Latvia. We have had constructive meetings with the transmission system operator (Elering) that is prepared to connect the floating terminal to the pipeline come fall," he said.
Infortar CEO Ain Hanschmidt said that the private sector can finish the project much more quickly because it is not obligated to declare public procurements. "We would like to see the project through to the floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) leasing stage. What we need from the state is a so-called price difference [guarantee] agreement, similarly to how renewable energy is subsidized. That any difference in price caused by Russian gas coming to the market is compensated."
Hanschmidt said that Alexela and Infortar will split the investment. "We have agreed on a 50-50 stake. But our part will also be considerable on the gas consumption side as Eesti Gaas operates a major transmission system in the region."
Editor: Marcus Turovski