Finland's FSRU proposal takes shape
Finland has hired a floating storage and regasification vessel from US-based LNG terminal builder Excelerate Energy for ten years, following Russia's move to cut off gas flow to the country, which currently accounts for nearly 70% of the country's imports, Reuters reported May 20.
Helsinki expects the 5bn m3/day vessel to anchor off Finland's southern coast in the fourth quarter of 2022. The 10-year agreement is estimated to be valued at around €460mn ($486mn).
Gazprom Export had earlier confirmed gas transit via Gasum into Finland would cease from 4.00 GMT on May 20, after earlier this month Finland declared that it intended to join NATO. The decision to halt gas transit will be subject to an arbitration attempt by Gasum, challenging Gazprom's demand that ruble-denominated payments be inserted into their next long-term gas supply deal.
The courts will look at whether Gazprom was justified in suddenly issuing the rubles demand last month. Talks had begun months earlier on the basis that euros would be maintained as the payment mechanism for Russian gas.
Finance minister Annika Saarikko believes the LNG terminal will help Finland "break free" from Russian gas. The country has no indigenous gas reserves or domestic gas storages, though it does have an agreement to use gas stored in Latvia's Incukalns storage centre, and take gas from the Klaipeda LNG terminal in Lithuania.
The Excelerate deal also cements a partnership agreement reached by Finland and Estonia to jointly import LNG earlier this year. However, it is unclear whether Tallinn will also seek to build its own terminal at Paldiski, as previously reported. The government will also leverage capacity from the 2.6bn m3/year Baltic Connector pipeline to Finland.