Official: Estonia's natural gas supply is assured

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications deputy secretary general Timo Tatar.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications deputy secretary general Timo Tatar. Source: ERR

Estonia's gas supply is guaranteed even if the Balticconnector pipeline, which links Estonia with Finland, should be interrupted, Deputy Secretary General at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Timo Tatar says, against the backdrop of explosions which hit the NordStream gas pipelines, and news that a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FRSU) vessel due to supply both Estonia and Finland would be heading to the latter's shores for berthing.

Estonia has plenty of options via its links to Latvia, in turn to Lithuania and Poland, Tatar noted.

As to the apparent surprise that Finland would be getting the LNG terminal first, to dock at Inkoo, rather than at Paldiski in Estonia, Tatar told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that: "The signs were in the air since the summer that Finland had been accelerating the completion of its terminal's reception capacity."

"The final decision, where the ministers agreed (link in Estonian) that the FRSU will go to Finland, was made today," Tatar said.

One of the most important conditions for Estonia was that if the ship were to sail to Finland this winter, Estonian companies, together with the Finns, would get preferential access over suppliers from other countries.

"This was the main reason why we carried out this project jointly with Finland, and the Finns agreed to that, in order to supplement the rules of use for the terminal in a way that would give the advantage to gas sellers supplying Estonian and Finnish customers," Tatar continued.

Tatar also pointed out that the Finns were in a tricky situation – in addition to having gas consumption requirements several times bigger than Estonia's estimated 5TWh per annum, Russia's turning off of its natural gas pipeline link to Finland unilaterally in May concentrated minds, whereas Estonia has more options.

"Finland is in the most unfortunate situation in terms of gas supply. After the Russian pipeline gas was shut off, their entire gas supply depends only on what can fit through the [Finland-Estonia pipeline] Balticconnector," Tatar said.

"Fortunately, Estonia is in a much better situation in this respect; we have the Balticconnector with Finland on one side, and the Latvian natural gas storage (at Incukalns – ed.) on the other, plus the Lithuanian FRSU terminal (at Klaipeda – ed), plus Lithuania and Poland in turn have a connection."

Should the Balticconnector connection be interrupted, nearly 13 TWh of gas has been amassed in the underground gas storage in Latvia, which can also be used to supply Estonian consumers. "In addition, the situation is the same with the Lithuanian terminal. The current picture is that if the worst should happen, Estonian gas supply is definitely guaranteed," Tatar went on.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'

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