Estonian ministry: building gas pipeline to Finland is not decided yet

The Estonian Economy and Communications Ministry is not certain that the Estonian end of the Balticconnector gas pipeline, planned to be built between Estonia and Finland, should come on shore somewhere near Paldiski or whether the pipeline would even be built, LETA/Public Broadcasting reports.


Finnish gas company Gasum and EG Võrguteenused launch sea bottom studies at the weekend, which are necessary for installing the Balticconnector pipeline connecting the Estonian and Finnish has grids. According to the initial project, the pipeline would be built between Inkoo and Paldiski. The plan is to start building the pipeline in a little more than a year's time. The investment decision should be made by the end of 2014 and the pipeline should be in use by autumn of 2017, said Gasum's deputy president Ari Suomilammi.


The government, however also has to approve of building the pipeline and there is no certainty there that the Estonian end of the pipeline has to be in Paldiski.


Economy and communications ministry adviser Thor Sten Vertmann says that this isn’t certain till the moment when the government has decided whether the pipeline will be built at all and where. "We are, I think at least 1-2 years away from that decision," he said.


Vertmann said that the most important problem about Balticconnector is who work on that project – two Estonian and Finnish companies who are directly controlled by monopoly gas supplier Gazprom.


Vertmann said that the choice of the route of Balticconnector doesn’t affect where the planned liquefied natural gas terminal would be built. Even if the pipeline comes on shore in Paldiski, the terminal could be built in Muuga.


Baltic Course