Although Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are struggling to agree on a common liquefied natural gas (LNG) market and potential EU support for gas infrastructure in all three states, Hando Sutter, CEO of the Estonian state-owned energy company Eesti Energia, believes that a deal will be reached.
According to Sutter, all sides involved need such a gas market deal, and, in his opinion, disagreements are part of the negotiation process.
"I think that the deal will be [reached], because it is needed for all parties and, fundamentally, I would say we are market believers," Sutter told BNS during his visit to Vilnius this past week. "Politicians are willing to leave this to market-based competition or at least as little intervention as possible with taxpayers' money — this will be the best solution for everyone."
In his opinion, if the Baltic states manage to reach a deal, this would make the market more predictable and may lead to an increase in LNG consumption.
"I think that if this decision is made and predictability on the LNG market is restored, I can see LNG actually being a fuel of the future and [consumption] will increase again," Sutter said. "I can see a role [for LNG] in transportation that is not that well developed — in power generation as well."
According to the CEO, the market needs political stability, clear agreements and enough time to adapt to any decision.
"We mentioned to the Lithuanian [energy] minister that whatever the deal is, we want it to be made as soon as possible in order to give market participants time to adapt to these decisions as well as make their own," he added.
The Latvian government decided last Tuesday to ask for more information before making its decision on whether or not to approve a planned deal on LNG infrastructure that would allow Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to apply for support from the European Commission for LNG terminals in Lithuania and Estonia and the Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage Facility in Latvia.
Editor: Aili Vahtla