Finland's Ministry of Employment is strongly supporting a plan to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Finland which would also serve the Baltic countries. In a recent interview by Finnish TV1, Esa Härmälä, Director-General of the Energy Department at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, stated that Finland offers a larger market area than any of the Baltic countries which might be an alternative location for the terminal.
In June, the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs expressed its support for the LNG terminal which would be connected to the Baltic gas network through a pipe under the Gulf of Finland. According to Härmälä, the objective from Finland's perspective is to improve the competitive situation in the natural gas market and, over time, improve the conditions for the use of domestic natural gas.
The project is estimated to cost EUR 200-400 million and the Finnish government would be looking for EU support in funding the construction of the terminal, with the rest of the investment coming from the private companies involved. The location of the terminal would be in southern Finland either in Inkoo or Porvoo.
The Finnish company Gasum is currently conducting an environmental impact assessment in both sites. According to Gasum, the terminal is planned to have capacity for an annual total import volume of 10–20 TWh of natural gas, corresponding to 25–50% of Finland’s current annual gas consumption. The LNG will be sourced from the world market and shipped to the Finnish terminal on special-purpose vessels. At the terminal the LNG will be regasified and fed into the natural gas pipeline network. A total of 15% of the gas used by EU countries is already imported in the liquefied form.
Sources: Yle, Gasum