Finland announces first floating LNG terminal to strength energy security
13 June 2022
Finnish gas system operator Gasgrid and state-owned energy company Fortum announced they have signed a Letter of Intent to place Finland’s first floating LNG terminal vessel Exemplar at the Baltic Sea port of Inkoo.
Announcing the plans, Fortum said that Inkoo provides an optimal deep-water port at close proximity to the pipelines distributing the gas mainly to industrial end-users in the Baltic region. The development enables independence from Russian pipeline gas, the two companies said.
In May, Finland became the latest European country to have its natural gas supplies from Russia halted as a result of the ongoing payment dispute between Western countries and Russia. Natural gas imports via Imatra, the entry point for natural gas imports from Russia into Finland, were halted on May 21.
Gasgrid Finland will be leasing the floating LNG terminal vessel Exemplar from Excelerate Energy Inc. for a duration of ten years and aims to have the terminal available next winter. The vessel’s capacity is sufficient for the gas needs of both Finland and Estonia, Gasgrid said.
“The vessel project is absolutely essential for the security of supply of natural gas in the Baltic region – and therefore extremely urgent. I’m pleased that the decision on the location of the terminal was made in such fast schedule. As the need for the terminal covers the entire Baltic Sea region, Inkoo provides an excellent location for the vessel,” said Olli Sipilä, CEO of Gasgrid Finland.
“At Fortum, we are very pleased to support energy security, industry as well as our national economy during these challenging times. Our Inkoo port is located on the site of our decommissioned coal power plant and provides nearly ready-to-use infrastructure and an optimal location for the country’s first floating LNG terminal. In the future, our plan is to further develop industrial activity on the site, so that it can contribute to the decarbonisation of society,” said Fortum’s CEO Markus Rauramo.
Fortum’s Inkoo port is accessible by a sea lane, has a ready-to-use pier, is in close proximity of the Balticconnector pipeline between Finland and Estonia – and is available at short notice. Furthermore, Inkoo has undergone the necessary environmental impact assessments already in 2014-2015, Fortum said.
In addition to Inkoo, Gasgrid Finland and the Estonian electricity and gas transmission system operator Elering are continuing to develop a potential site for the floating LNG terminal vessel in Estonia. The aim of this is to mitigate potential project risks and increase the probability that one of the sites is ready as early as possible for next winter.