Finland, Estonia eye floating LNG terminal to ensure supply

Finland and Estonia say they are jointly planning to rent a floating liquefied natural gas, or LNG, terminal to ensure gas supply in the two countries in efforts to break energy dependence on neighboring Russia

ByThe Associated Press
April 07, 2022, 9:01 AM

HELSINKI -- Finland and Estonia said Thursday that they are jointly planning to rent a floating liquefied natural gas, or LNG, terminal to ensure supply in the two countries in efforts to break energy dependence on neighboring Russia.

Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintila and his Estonian counterpart, Taavi Aas, said in a statement that a movable off-shore LNG terminal would offer a quick solution in guaranteeing gas supply in the two European Union members, which are separated by the Baltic Sea.

“Due to the war in Ukraine, we must prepare for possible interruptions of gas imports” through pipeline from Russia, Lintila said, adding that a floating LNG terminal “is an efficient way to secure gas supply, including in industry.”

Under the plan, the terminal could be located on either shore of the Gulf of Finland between Finland and Estonia, depending on the gas needs of the countries. Estonia’s Aas said his country estimates the annual renting cost of the terminal to be around 10 million euros ($11 million) for Estonia “in a best case scenario”.

“It’s not a boat, it’s a big ship,” Lintila said of the LNG terminal as quoted by the Finnish public broadcaster YLE. “Usage of gas in Finland is about five times higher than in Estonia. (An LNG) terminal ship of this size is able to guarantee and secure Finland’s gas demand together with the Baltic Connector gas pipeline.”

Commissioned in 2019, Baltic Connector is a bi-directional undersea gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia that connects the two countries’ gas grids. The power grids of Finland and Estonia are also connected via two undersea electricity cables.

Lintila noted that the Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have already ceased using Russian gas and Finland is ready to do so after the commissioning of the floating LNG terminal, planned late this year. Russian gas is consumed in Finland mainly by industrial companies, not by households.

On Saturday, Lithuania said it has cut itself off entirely from gas imports from Russia, apparently becoming the first of the EU’s 27 nations using Russian gas to break dependence upon Moscow. Latvian officials said none of the three Baltic states were importing Russian gas as of April 2.

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