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Paldiski LNG terminal could be fully functioning by spring

Paldiski LNG terminal
Paldiski LNG terminal Source: Alexela/Infortar

National grid distributor Elering has successfully found a bidder for the final piece of infrastructure needed to get a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) port up-and-running. The installation costs €700,000, while the facility is likely to be ready before the winter is over.

The LNG terminal itself was capable of use from the end of last year, once the land-based gas infrastructure was ready to receive LNG.

The facility was constructed to aid in guaranteeing security of supply in crisis situations and as part of a drive to remove dependency on Russian-produced natural gas.

However, a loading arm was required to link an LNG tanker vessel berthed at Paldiski, to the facility itself.

After an initial procurement drew a blank, Elering announced a new tender at the start of November, which found a successful bidder.

That bidder is Mapri Ehitus; installation will cost over €700,000.

Work is due to start in the new year, an Elering spokesperson told ERR.

The physical loading arm is already under preparation for shipping to Estonia and is scheduled to arrive before the year is out.

In addition to Elering's part of the task, which the operator says is ready, the relevant port services under the jurisdiction of the Estonian Stockpiling Agency (EVK) are required, Elering said.

The EVK said last month that the development of the plot at the Pakrineeme in Paldiski, site of both the reception quay and the port area, remains on schedule and, if needed, a floating LNG terminal (ie. a tanker ship) can be brought to Estonia before the winter is over – in other words it can be considered a formally functioning LNG port by that time.

In November, the EVK concluded a four-year port services operator agreement with the Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) which manages Paldiski port.

The arm was initially intended as a backup device but Elering later opted to install it as the primary connection, in order to encourage possible use of the facility.

In spring this year, the EVK purchased the Pakrineeme facility and the LNG berth for €31.5 million. Pakrineeme Port (Pakrineeme Sadam) is co-owned by fuel retailer Alexela and holding company Infortar.

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Editor: Marko Tooming, Andrew Whyte

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