Gasum to study pipeline link between Estonia and Finland
Gas transmission system connecting Latvia, Estonia and Finland is an
alternative to Russian gas
Natural gas supplier Gasum is to start studying the possibility of constructing a pipeline link between Paldiski in Estonia and the Vuosaari district of Helsinki. The cost of the new pipeline would be approximately EUR 80 million, and it would be ready by 2010.
The pipeline between Finland and Estonia is seen as one alternative way to ensure the extra deliveries of gas which are currently supplied by Russia. Furthermore, there is already an existing transmission pipeline from the Russian natural gas storage facilities in Latvia to Estonia.
The demand for natural gas is expected to increase in Finland and the current gas supply volume via the existing transmission pipeline from Russian Karelia will become inadequate. Other options to ensure the gas supply include an increase in the capacity of the existing pipeline from Russia or a link between the Baltic and Russian transmission systems.
The future co-operation between gas companies in the Baltic Sea region has become a really viable option recently as the Balticconnector gas network development project received an EU grant from the Trans-European Networks for energy, electricity and natural gas, TEN-E.
Balticconnector Project Manager Seppo Nurminen from Gasum says that the studies on the new pipeline's feasibility and its potential impact on the environment are expected to be completed by 2007. Sea-bed studies will be conducted during the open water season next summer, and Gasum will split the EUR 2.5 million cost with the EU.
According to Nurminen, the import capacity of the new gas pipeline would be around 20 TWh a year, which is the equivalent to some 50 per cent of Finland's current entire consumption and a quarter of the estimated consumption in 2010.
Nurminen believes that the decision on the possible gas pipeline construction will be made in the next couple of years. Currently no information exists on the possible funding or the make-up of the consortium in the building project, but the venture was launched by Gasum, national gas companies in the Baltic States, and the Russian Gazprom.
Gasum, which was formerly part of Neste, is owned by state energy company Fortum, Russian Gazprom, and German E.On Ruhrgas. Warm weather and cuts in demand brought by the lengthy forest industry dispute have reduced the demand for gas this year.
Gasum Balticconnector press release