Prime minister seeks confirmation that LNG vessel to dock at Paldiski first
The government wants to get confirmation from Finland that the ship carrying LNG will be first to come to the Estonian port of Paldiski, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says, noting that there are provisions for this in the agreement signed between the two states on the matter.
A vessel recently set sail from Argentina with a consignment of LNG, to be used instead of Russian natural gas; there are two LNG terminals on either side of the Gulf of Finland, the Estonian one recently completed, while the two countries have been linked by the undersea Balticconnector gas pipeline for a couple of years already, while the connection between it and the pier, to which a floating LNG terminal would be connected, is also ready
Appearing on Vikerraadio broadcast "Stuudios on peaminister" Tuesday, Kallas said: "In cooperation with the private sector, we have constructed the LNG hauling docks and the connecting pipeline Balticconnector at an extraordinary speed. Second, we have concluded an agreement with Finland to rent a vessel, with the possibility of regasification, which is coming to the quay here."
Regassification refers to the process by which LNG, carried as a liquid, is converted back into natural gas for distribution.
"We have also acquired [natural] gas reserves at the Incukalns [in Latvia] gas storage facility," she added.
At the same time, these developments were not as much as was wanted by the state, Kallas added.
"It is less than we had wished for, simply for the reason that this LNG is also expensive and we really haven't received that much of it. The gas suppliers are not the state, and we don't own the gas company either. The suppliers are private companies and are responsible for the contracts they have with the gas buyers." Kallas said.
This meant logistically speaking that confirmation was needed that the LNG vessel was arriving off Paldiski first so in order to make sure the private sector firms are ready to purchase the gas once it starts flowing.
"This is not a new message, it is in the cooperation memorandum we have with the Finns, which has concerns who is ready first, and right now it looks like we're going to be ready first," Kallas went on.
"It is true that Finland's gas needs are significantly higher than ours. Their gas consumption is 12TWh per year, we use 5TWh per year," she added.
At the same time, whether the LNG floating terminal itself is located in Paldiski or at Inkoo, on the Finnish side of the gulf, is not important, Kallas added, given the Balticconnector pipeline is fully operational.
Kaja Kallas was talking to "Stuudios on peaminister" Tuesday, September 27.
Of the 5TWh annual gas consumption in Estonia, 1TWh would be kept in reserve.
Earlier this week, Timo Tatar, Deputy Secretary General for Energy at the Ministry of Economy, said the location of the vessel will be clarified next month.
The 200-square-meter Paldiski LNG terminal platform extension was handed over to transmission operator Elering the week before last, ahead of schedule.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Stuudios on peaminister