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    Finland Inaugurates Tornio LNG Terminal (Update)


Gas will enable cleaner industrial operations in northern Finland.

by: William Powell

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Finland Inaugurates Tornio LNG Terminal (Update)

(Adds comments from Gasum, para 6-7.)

Finnish state utility Gasum opened its €100mn ($112mn) LNG regasification terminal in Tornio in the far north June 11. Near the border with Sweden, the port is in an industrial region.

The terminal, pictured above, will supply natural gas to Outokumpu’s Tornio steel mill and LNG to local industries, mines and other consumers. LNG from the terminal will be supplied also to the LNG storage facility, also supplied by Wartsila, at the SSAB Raahe steel mill. The terminal also supplies LNG as fuel to ships, such as the new icebreaker Polaris, operating in the Gulf of Bothnia. Truck access to the terminal allows fast and efficient deliveries of the LNG, Gasum said. The terminal will be able to process some 40 metric tons/hour, Gasum said.

The new terminal significantly enhances the area’s competitiveness by ensuring the availability of energy that is affordable, has low emissions and can be used by the local industry, as well as maritime and heavy-duty traffic, Gasum said.

The terminal was built by joint venture Manga LNG, comprising the Outokumpu and SSAB steel companies, EPV Energy and Gasum. Manga LNG CEO Mika Kolehmainen said: “Previously, the only LNG terminal in Finland was in Pori – some 600 km to the south. The Tornio terminal is equipped with bunkering stations for LNG vessels, regasification equipment for liquefied natural gas, as well as a storage unit that is 50,000 m³.” 

Gasum’s LNG boss Kimmo Rahkamo said: “The Tornio terminal is a ground-breaking collaboration between several companies and its opening is a long-awaited milestone for all of us. The deployment of the new LNG terminal significantly supports the emission goals of Finland, as well as the entire Nordics…. The transition to a carbon neutral future does not happen overnight which is why each step is important. Building distribution infrastructure will make it easier for new operators to start using LNG. In the future, the same gas infrastructure can be used to shift to the use of liquefied biogas which will further reduce emissions.”

He told NGW by phone that the plant had some additional funding from the state, but nothing from the European Union. The LNG will come from the owners' portfolio, which includes some of Gasum's own production near Stavanger in Norway, he said.  Capacity is open for third parties but for the owners, for whom the plant is a sunk cost, it will be cheap to operate. 

With the use of LNG, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by as much as 20% compared to traditional fuels. Rahkamo said that the LNG would displace propane, in the case of the steel mills.

In addition, LNG produces no local pollutants and with its use, maritime traffic can reach the ambitious emissions goals set within and outside of the EU. With the use of renewable and domestic biogas, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by as much as 85%, Gasum said in its statement. 

Wartsila said its engineering, procurement and construction plan for the Tornio Manga LNG receiving terminal includes complete unloading, storage, pipeline distribution, regasification, truck loading, and ship bunkering facilities. An efficient logistics chain developed around the terminal creates a diversified fuel market benefiting both northern Finland and Sweden.

Wartsila will serve the Tornio Manga LNG terminal under a 10-year maintenance agreement. This agreement ensures reliable gas send-out and maximises uptime of the LNG terminal, it said, without disclosing the value of the contract.