Expert: LNG storage ship not needed at Paldiski

LNG tanker at Klaipeda.
LNG tanker at Klaipeda. Source: Eesti Gaas

An LNG storage ship is not needed at Paldiski's newly constructed terminal as it would not currently increase the security of supply, experts believe. However, it could be useful next year.

National electricity transmission system operator Elering and Alexela blame each other for the lack of reception capacity at the new port, Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported. It is still not known if equipment can be found as the search for it has only just launched.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) told Vikerraadio on Tuesday that Alexela and Infortar, the terminal's builders, want more money from the state.

Marti Hääl, chairman of Alexela's board, told AK a floating terminal may affect gas prices for the better.

"We believe that competition is what brings down prices. This has also been seen in this crisis, that in situations where there is sufficient LNG absorption capacity, the price of gas has become significantly lower immediately. We believe that, with sufficient competition, it is certainly possible for the Estonian consumer to get the best price on the world market," he said.

Marti Hääl Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

But energy expert Marko Allikson is not so sure.

"Gas has a market price at all times. Estonia is on the GET Baltic gas exchange, where gas can be bought and sold on a daily basis and this determines the current market price. And, of course, there are the prices of longer-term contracts," he said.

As Lithuania's LNG terminal at Klaipeda is within the market area and Finland's Inkoo terminal is under construction, there is no need for another LNG terminal in the region, Allikson said.

"Two large floating storage terminals, plus the gas in the tanks, should get us through the winter and should be enough to refill the tanks for next winter," Allikson said.

Margus Kaasik. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

But the port could prove useful next year.

Infotar, which owns Eesti Gaas, brought five tankers of LNG to Klaipeda this year and a sixth is due in January. But after that, there will be accessibility problems for the rest of the year, said Margus Kaasik, head of Eesti Gaas. 

This is where the quay at Paldiski could come in useful because it would be a "credible alternative", he said.


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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