Finland prepares for life without Russian gas

The EU nation has leased a floating LNG terminal for 10 years
Finland prepares for life without Russian gas

Finland has agreed a 10-year charter for a floating storage and regasification (FSRU) vessel with US based Excelerate Energy to help replace Russian gas supply, Finance Minister Annika Saarikko said on Friday.

“The LNG [liquefied natural gas] terminal will make it possible for us to break free from Russian gas,” Saarikko said as quoted by Reuters.

According to gas operator Gasgrid Finland, the total cost of the LNG terminal vessel, including the lease itself, is estimated to be €460 million ($487 million). In addition to that, there are “separate costs associated with the volume of use,” it said.

The vessel has a volume corresponding to about 68,000 tons of LNG when full, or some 1,050 GWh (gigawatt hours) of energy, and it will be loaded with LNG around two to three times a month, Gasgrid Finland detailed.

“With more than 5 billion cubic meters a year in regasification capacity, Exemplar [the vessel] can easily cover Finland and Estonia’s combined gas consumption and have much more left over,” Excelerate’s Chief Executive Steven Kobos told reporters.

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In April, Finland and Estonia announced their intention to jointly charter a floating terminal for importing LNG in order to help replace current deliveries of Russian gas.

Finland is bracing for an expected halt in gas flows from Russia, its major supplier. According to Finland’s state-owned energy group, Gasum, Russia’s Gazprom Export has informed it that natural gas supplies to the country would be stopped on Saturday if the company fails to pay for future supplies in rubles. However, Finland recently refused Moscow’s new payment mechanism.

The announcement also comes just two days after Finland formally applied to join NATO. Although Finnish media reported earlier that Moscow could turn off the taps in response, Russia has not confirmed the reports and gas supplies have not been halted.

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