Lawyers for the company operating the Paldiski Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal have called state Transmission Systems Operator Elering's actions "embarrassing." Elering has declined to pay half-a-million euros per month in rent for property on which it has constructed a connecting pipeline, and has applied to take possession of this infrastructure.
Jaanus Mody (picutred), sworn advocate at the law firm of the same name, acting for Pakrineeme Port, said Wednesday afternoon that: "To put it politely, this is the most modest thing that the Estonian state and an Estonian state-owned company could fulfill now, in this extremely embarrassing situation. Even this small promise could be met. This whole story is extremely awkward."
Pakrineeme Port is joint owned by holding company Infortar and fuel retailer Alexela, and operates the LNG terminal at Paldiski. The Elering pipeline connects the facility to the national gas network, and is built on land owned by the two private sector firms.
Mody said that Elering had earlier pledged to pay the €500,000 per month rent, but no contract to that end had been drawn up, as a result of the dispute.
Mody would not say if this was the only condition facing Elering, but said that the basic principle of paying rent from November onward should have been met, and not run over roughshod.
He also declined to say what potential solutions could be provided at this stage, though a court action on the part of Pakrineeme Port was not off the cards ultimately.
He said:. "If there is no other course of action left, then naturally we will go to court, but this is certainly not the kind of instance which provides quick and effective solutions to commercial issues or possible LNG problems."
Pakrineeme Port sent its November invoice of €500,000 to Elering on December 21, ERR reports.
Elering is applying to the local municipality to take compulsory possession of the connecting pipeline.
The LNG terminal in theory could host a vessel fitted out for the purpose and providing LNG as a substitute for Russian natural gas. A vessel has sailed to Inkoo, Finland, where an LNG terminal there is linked to Estonia via an undersea pipeline, jointly installed by Elering and its Finnish counterpart Gasgrid in late 2019.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Huko Aaspõllu