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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 18.09.2020, 17:45

Estonia-Finland gas interconnection to be formally opened Wednesday

BC, Tallinn, 11.12.2019.Print version
Estonia and Finland will on Wednesday celebrate the creation of a common gas market, as with the formal implementation of the Balticconnector gas interconnection the gas markets of three countries -- Finland, Estonia and Latvia -- will be linked together into a single market for the first time ever in Europe.

The gas interconnection will be symbolically opened by the presidents of Estonia and Finland, Kersti Kaljulaid and Sauli Niinisto, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt from the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy, and the Estonian and Finnish ministers responsible for energy, Taavi Ass and Mika Lintila.

"When Elering in 2011-2012 began driving the project for opening the gas market to competition in Estonia, acquired the Estonian gas network and started work towards the creation of a regional gas market, we had few supporters. I am glad that we have been able to convince many on this path and the strongest opponents back in the time from Eesti Gaas are today among the most active market participants in the regional gas market that will open from January 1. Alongside Balticconnector and strengthening of the gas interconnection with Latvia, also achieving European Union co-financing was a breakthrough, being a key to the creation of the common Finnish-Baltic gas market," Elering CEO Taavi Veskimagi said. 

The Estonian-Finnish gas interconnection along with reinforcing the interconnection between Estonia and Latvia costs approximately 300 mln euros and the European Union co-finances the project with more than 200 mln euros.

"When we started opening the market, the price of gas was on the level of 40 euros and we were paying Gazprom almost 10 euros above the price level for Western Europe. Today the price of gas is in the region of 15 euros and effectively we are able to buy gas at the same price as in Western Europe. And this is why we have been developing the gas market and infrastructure -- to create an open regional gas market with many market participants," Veskimagi added.

In the next few weeks, testing will commence on the Estonian-Finnish-Latvian gas interconnection and Balticconnector will be at the disposal of the market by Jan. 1, 2020, as planned.

The length of the offshore part of Balticconnector from the Estonian town of Paldiski to Inkoo, Finland is 77 kilometers. The length of the aboveground part of the gas interconnection is 55 kilometers in Estonia and 21 kilometers in Finland. As a result of reconstruction, the Estonia-Latvia gas connection was also made bidirectional.

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