The Estonian Minister of Climate Kristen Michal and the Latvian Minister for Climate and Energy Raimonds Čudars signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which sets the framework for establishing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) reception capacity in case of natural gas supply disruptions.
According to Minister of Climate Kristen Michal, security of supply is currently well ensured on the Baltic and Finnish gas markets. “Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has, however, continued to increase the risk of gas supply disruptions across the European Union. As we operate on the Baltic-Finnish gas market with Latvia, it makes sense for us to put our backs together and cooperate to ensure that we have security of gas supply at all times. We’ll agree on how to deal with possible supply disruptions, because if the situation were to change at some point, we’d be able to quickly start using the Pakrineeme Port to receive natural gas,” said Minister of Climate Kristen Michal.
The Memorandum of Understanding states that the countries will agree between themselves on the procedures that will enable them to intervene swiftly in the event of gas supply disruptions. The plan is to bring a floating terminal to Pakrineem, if necessary, which would make it possible to receive additional gas supplies and direct them to consumers in the region or to store them in the underground storage facility in Latvia. The countries will review and agree on join action in the event of a crisis and also agree on how the costs related to the Pakrineeme Quay and the land infrastructure will be shared.
“The past year has been challenging and has tested our resilience in different ways. However, overcoming these challenges only strengthen our commitment to deepen our cooperation. Working out on this agreement ensures the safety of natural gas supplies in Latvia, Estonia and all Baltic region,” said Latvian Minister for Climate and Energy Raimonds Čudars.
A joint Estonian-Latvian working group will be set up in order to implement the agreement made today, which will bring together the parties concerned from both countries and whose task is to develop and agree on more detailed cooperation procedures.
Thanks to the efforts made last year to reorganise the existing supply channels in order to stop using natural gas of Russian origin, the availability of gas on the Finnish-Baltic common market is currently well ensured. “The capacity of the LNG terminals in Finland and Lithuania is sufficient to meet the needs of the Baltic and Finnish gas markets, even if demand were to recover,” said Michal. “However, the infrastructure built on Pakrineem last year provides significant additional insurance and a sense of security that we can cope with emergencies.” Estonia has also built up a strategic gas reserve, the volume of which is approximately sufficient to cover three months of gas consumption.