Ratas: Estonia supports moving forward with regional LNG terminal project

Prime Ministers Jüri Ratas, Māris Kučinskis and Saulius Skvernelis of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania visiting Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage Facility in Latvia on Friday. Aug. 11, 2017. Source: (Jürgen Randma/Government Office)

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Estonia supports moving forward with the regional LNG terminal project, preconditions for which are common market rules and stopping providing state aid.

"We are ready to discuss different cooperation formats, but a precondition for establishing a functioning gas market and cost-efficient infrastructure objects are common market rules for the Baltic states and stopping providing state aid," Ratas said in a press release. He added that the Estonian state does not want to support projects with taxpayers' money.

Ratas and his Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts, Māris Kučinskis and Saulius Skvernelis, visited Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage Facility to discuss issues related to the building of a regional LNG terminal in the Baltics. It was the prime ministers' third gas infrastructure-related meeting, following a May visit to Paldiski and June visit to Klaipėda, Lithuania.

"I'm glad that I have been able to visit the gas infrastructure objects of all three Baltic countries with my Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues," Ratas said following their meeting. "These are necessary meetings to fix common positions and find a better solution regarding the future of the gas infrastructure. The importance of regional cooperation shouldn't be underestimated — diversification of supply sources as well as guaranteeing a stable and secure natural gas supply is a common interest of the Baltic countries."

Speaking about the next steps in the process, Ratas said that it is important that project developers offer an LNG infrastructure which satisfies regional needs as well as takes into account the terminal projects in Estonia and Lithuania as well as the LNG storage facility in Latvia. "The Baltic countries have to make joint efforts in order to ensure EU cofinancing for the proposed infrastructure."

A regional LNG terminal on the shore of the Gulf of Finland is one of the elements in a package which also includes the Balticconnector undersea gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland as well as the GIPL gas connection between Lithuania and Poland. This list of important gas infrastructure projects was agreed upon in 2013 already, with an aim to connect the Baltic countries and Finland with the EU's common gas market and create opportunities for the diversification of supply sources.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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