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Economic affairs minister: Estonia needs its own LNG ship at Paldiski

Riina Sikkut.
Riina Sikkut. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Estonia should rent its own LNG floating storage terminal this winter to increase its security of supply, Minister for Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut (SDE) suggested on Thursday. To do this the state and private sector should work together, she added.

Estonia and Finland will share an LNG ship this winter which will allow for the storage of Liquified Natural Gas. The vessel will dock in whichever country completes their terminal first and Estonia is currently building a floating platform at Paldiski for this purpose.

But to increase protection against the ever-changing security situation, Sikkut believes Estonia should also acquire its own vessel. This could be rented for the winter.

"The government has not discussed it yet, but we will do so in the near future. I think it should be done. Analyzes of Estonia's security of supply show that there is enough gas in Finland and the Baltic region and in normal circumstances it is not needed, but we are at war. In my opinion, it is a political decision, how we assess the risk, and I think that a decision should be made," Sikkut said.

Ain Hanschmidt, chairman of the board of Infortar, the owner of Eesti Gaas, said on Thursday the private sector is also working out how to bring a ship to Estonia. 

Sikkut said, in this situation, it is necessary for the state and private sector to work together.

"We are talking about crisis solutions, and you can only do these things through cooperation and agreements. This must be a solution with cooperation between the state and the private sector. I understand that in recent history there are no positive examples of such cooperation going smoothly, but this time it must be done," she said.

If the costs are similar to Finland's, it would cost €460 million to rent a vessel for 10 years. Sikkut said it can be assumed the costs for Estonia would be approximately the same.


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Editor: Janek Salme, Marko Tooming, Helen Wright

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