Estonian industry protests against emergency cutoff measures: press
The Estonian Gas Association and grid operator Gaasivork are seeking to amend a draft law that classifies which gas consumers would be cut off first in the event of a sudden supply shortage, ERR reported August 17.
Gaasivork is unhappy with the breadth of the draft text which it says fails to offer clarity of guidance, and has also argued an obligation for it to investigate contentious consumer cut-offs must be removed from the law.
Triinu Tamm, chair of the company management board, said: "We would like to point out that as this is a critical decision for the consumer that could result in substantial losses or even bankruptcy, the network operator cannot be tasked with making this decision. These distinctions must be sufficiently drawn by the government."
Estonian gas consumers are due to be divided into six prioritisation groups from October, allowing Tallinn to switch off supplies incrementally in case of a major disruption such as a complete loss of Russian imports. The first to lose gas access would be consumers who require six hours to safely wind down gas deliveries, ERR reported previously, followed by agriculture and filling stations, essential service providers, emergency gas reserve plants, district heating providers and business customers.
Estonian Gas Association said the bill was rushed and could confuse consumers and market participants. CEO Heiko Heitur also pointed to the burden placed on network service providers, saying no provider should be forced to "examine or request" customer information for "state purposes". Estonia's 23 gas distribution companies would struggle, he added, to assign consumer groups to the right cut-off group accurately.