Estonia on Thursday agreed to increase the share capital of the Estonian Stockpiling Agency (ESPA) by €38 million and to extend the deadline for the acquisition of gas.
The proposal was put forward by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Minister Riina Sikkut (SDE) said there is no other option than to adapt in a situation where Russia continues to use gas as an economic weapon.
"Going into winter, we need reassurance that we are capable of guaranteeing that we have enough natural gas for the entire heating period, which is why private companies and Elering are currently working together to establish reception capacity in Paldiski," she said in a statement.
"Doing so comes with its own risks, so we are contributing at the state level to ensure that the necessary investments can be made as quickly as possible."
Increasing ESPA's share capital will allow the agency to make a contract with the consortium involved in the construction of the new Paldiski liquid natural gas (LNG) which will serve the LNG floating terminal and be built by the end of the year.
Ando Leppiman, the chairman of the ESPA management board, said the availability of LNG reception capacity is strategically important for energy security and it will help to ensure the security of supply.
The government also decided to extend the deadline for the acquisition of gas for the state until the end of the year, with the aim being to acquire up to 1 TWh.
The final amount will depend on market developments in the second half of the year.
For the moment it is clear that as an exception, Latvia will enable gas to be stored in its underground reservoir until the end of the year and that transmission capacity has become available in the connection between Latvia and Lithuania for the supply of LNG from Klaipeda.
Editor: Helen Wright