Gas companies: Balticconnector closure will not raise Estonian prices

Eesti Gaas logo.
Eesti Gaas logo. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The temporary closure of the gas pipeline Balticconnector that runs between Estonia and Finland will not change Estonian prices, Eesti Gaas and Alexela told ERR on Monday. However, the situation is more complicated for Finnish customers.

Estonia will still be able to receive gas from storage tanks in Latvia and Estonia, said Margus Kaasik, a member of the board of Eesti Gaas. He said supply is guaranteed to the Baltic countries.

"Baltic customers will receive gas stored in Latvian storage. There is enough gas there for the winter ahead. In addition, we have an LNG delivery coming to the Klaipeda terminal tomorrow, we will use it both on a regular basis and for storage. From the customers' point of view, nothing will change. We don't foresee any shortage of supplies in the foreseeable future," Kaasik said.

Both Alexela and Eestis Gaas said their logistics may become more complicated as the gas was moved through the Balticconnector in both directions. But, this has no effect on Estonian prices, they confirmed.

But both companies said the effects may be felt in Finland, although not very strongly.

"There has been a slight price increase over the weekend, but this is not a significant impact, a matter of a €2 - €3 per megawatt-hour," said Kaasik.

Alexela's energy portfolio manager Kalvi Nõu also said the closure has already impacted Finnish consumers.

"While the Baltic countries are currently trading at €40 per megawatt-hour, Finland is trading at €45. The price difference is about 10 percent. The longer the outage, the more difficult it will be (to predict). It depends on whether we are talking about a month or several months," Nõu said.

Finland is unlikely to experience a shortage because its terminals are well supplied, he said.

On Monday, the transmission system operator for electricity and natural gas Elering, which manages the pipeline, told ERR the cause of the pipe's leak is unknown. Investigations will be carried out.

A possible leak was detected on Sunday morning and the Estonian and Finnish system managers shut off the gas flow.

While the leak's cause is currently unknown, there were severe storms in Estonia and the Gulf of Finland over the weekend.


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright

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