HELSINKI (AP) — Finland and Estonia announced on Thursday that they are jointly planning to rent a floating liquefied natural gas, or LNG, terminal to ensure supplies in the two countries in a bid to break energy dependency on neighboring Russia.
Finnish Economy Minister Mika Lintila and his Estonian counterpart Taavi Aas said in a statement that a mobile offshore LNG terminal would provide a quick solution to ensure gas supplies in the two European Union member states separated by the Baltic Sea.
“Due to the war in Ukraine, we need to prepare for possible disruptions in gas imports through the pipeline from Russia,” Lintila said, adding that a floating LNG terminal “is an efficient way to secure gas supplies, including in the Industry”.
According to 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 countries. Estonia’s Aas said his country estimates the terminal’s annual rental cost at around 10 million euros ($11 million) for Estonia “at best”.
“It’s not a boat, it’s a big ship,” Lintila said of the LNG terminal, quoted by Finnish public broadcaster YLE. “Gas consumption in Finland is about five times higher than in Estonia. (An LNG terminal vessel of this size, together with the Baltic Connector gas pipeline, can guarantee and secure Finland’s gas needs.”
Commissioned in 2019, Baltic Connector is a bi-directional subsea gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, connecting the two countries’ gas networks. The power grids of Finland and Estonia are also connected by two subsea power cables.
Lintila noted that the Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – have already stopped using Russian gas, and Finland is ready to do so after the floating LNG terminal, which is expected to become operational later this year will. Russian gas is consumed in Finland mainly by industrial companies, not households.
On Saturday, Lithuania said it had completely cut itself off from gas imports from Russia and appeared to be the first of the EU’s 27 countries to use Russian gas to break dependence on Moscow. Latvian officials said none of the three Baltic states imported Russian gas as of April 2.
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