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    Estonia prepares emergency gas rationing strategy


Gas customers will be placed into one of six stratas that define how quickly they would lose gas supplies in an emergency.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Security of Supply, News By Country, Estonia

Estonia prepares emergency gas rationing strategy

Estonian gas consumers will receive a formal bulletin from their supplier in coming months stating the likelihood of their service being cut off if the national gas flow is severely interrupted, ERR reported August 3.

A ministry spokesperson told the newswire it was still working on a criteria for determining consumer groups, with the final rules to be published by October-end. But Tallinn is expected to prioritise domestic household customers, meaning they would be the last cut off from gas supplies. 

The first to lose gas access would likely be "other consumers", based on how fast their gas supply can be interrupted. Some in this bracket could require six hours to safely wind down natural gas deliveries, ERR suggested. Next would be the agricultural sector and filling stations, and then essential service providers, emergency gas reserve plants, district heating providers and priority business customers.

Civil servants have produced the initial legal draft for the new gas supply prioritisation law. A key factor in their considerations is how quickly a customer can be disconnected by the gas network operator, in the case of an emergency. More gradual disconnects will have their gas supply switched off first, followed by groups that can be done "faster".

Estonia currently uses around 5 TWh of gas/year, of which 1 TWh is sold to domestic household customers. District heating utilities and industrial facilities each account for a 1.5TWh of overall demand, according to Estonia's grid distributor chief Taavi Veskimagi.