Riga, Apr 22 (EFE).- The prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania said Friday that a new regional market for liquified natural gas (LNG) stretching from Finland in the north to Poland to the south would be created by the three Baltic nations jointly halting the export of Russian natural gas.
While Lithuania is currently the only Baltic country with an LNG terminal, plans for similar facilities in Estonia and Latvia would not carry a risk of overcapacity or duplication of services, especially if the European Union decides on a complete gas embargo against Russia, Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Simonyte said at a press conference.
“Our region is connected from Finland to Poland,” Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Karins told journalists, pointing out that Latvia’s underground gas storage facility, the only one of its kind in the region, was a key part of the new emerging LNG gas market.
Karins said that leasing a floating LNG facility to serve Estonia and Finland was a short-term solution, while an on-shore LNG terminal on the Latvian coastline with a direct pipeline to Incukalns would be best and most cost-effective in the medium term.
Estonian media have reported that leasing a floating LNG terminal would cost Estonia around 10 million euro ($10.8M) per year,
Latvian economy minister Janis Vitenbergs said recently that his ministry was examining several potential investor proposals for the Latvian LNG terminal, some of which he obtained while visiting the US at the end of March. The US, Qatar and Norway have been named as potential suppliers of LNG.
Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas said that in addition to ending purchases of Russian gas and starting operations of the joint Estonian-Finnish LNG platform, the heads of government discussed plans for a wind park in the Baltic Sea to generate electricity and further decrease dependence on Russian energy.
Turning to defense issues and the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine, the Baltic heads of government affirmed that they would ask for a permanent Nato presence in the region capable of repelling any Russian attack as part of the alliance’s new strategy to be adopted at the Madrid Nato summit in June.EFE