Alexela soon starting Paldiski LNG terminal work
Although negotiations with state energy grid firm Elering are still ongoing, fuel company Alexela is going ahead with the construction of a quay which will link a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) floating terminal to the land, at Paldiski.
The work is set to start by May 15, Alexela board member Marti Hääl told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Thursday.
He said: "It is important that technically possibilities to receive and service the ship vessel are in place. Otherwise, construction will not be completed. In this regard, the issue will be resolved quickly."
At the same time, Hääl said that he was concerned about the timing and nature of the vessel procured for the floating terminal purpose – the ship will likely need refitting – adding that Elering and its Finnish counterpart Gasgrid Finland had selected a suitable vessel, but that Alexela had heard nothing more since then.
"We made an offer to Elering for them to build a gas pipeline on the quay, and we are waiting for an answer from them in respect of this offer," he added.
The relevant government minister, Taavi Aas (Center), minister for economic affairs, has previously said that talks between Alexela and Elering on the issue should end by the end of this month.
The procurement has gone ahead particularly quickly due to the urgent need to decouple from dependency on Russian natural gas, following that country's invasion of Ukraine and holding various European countries practically to ransom over gas supplies. While there is natural gas in reserve still, the aim is to have alternatives ready in time for next winter.
A lack of communication would also have a negative effect on investor confidence, Aas added.
Aas said: "I agree that negotiations on the construction of the quay are going ahead quickly. This quay still needs to be ready by the fall. But specifically, Alexela and Elering need to negotiate how to give investors confidence that their investment will be recouped."
Alexela says it wants a state guarantee that its costs will be covered regardless of political decisions, a request Aas said was justifiable, to a certain extent.
Elering was unavailable for comment on Thursday.
AK reported the final choice of tech for the connection to the land depends on the type of vessel to be chartered.
The proposed floating terminal would supply both Finland and Estonia, and possibly Latvia.
Lithuania already has a floating LNG terminal of the same kind, at Klaipeda.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte