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The share of liquid fuel stock stored in Estonia increased significantly in a year

Submitted by ospa on Wed, 01/03/2024 - 09:47

Press release of Estonian Stockpiling Agency
30 December 2023

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Estonian Stockpiling Agency (ESPA) has significantly increased the share of fuel stock stored in Estonia, and by the end of 2023, it will make up 76 percent of the country’s strategic stock of petrol, diesel, and jet fuel.

According to Ando Leppiman, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Stockpiling Agency, ESPA has fulfilled the guidelines received from the government to be better prepared for possible crises and supply failures of motor fuels.

‘Before the intensification of military activities in Ukraine, less than half of Estonia’s fuel stock was here in Estonia, or to be more precise, 48 percent. At that time, it was a purely economic decision, because storage in Finland and Sweden was simply much cheaper for the state. The main reason for bringing a larger amount of fuel stock to Estonia was the change in the security situation. This has also been supported by the end of transit of Russian oil products, as a result of which many fuel tanks became available in Estonia and storage prices came down. We are happy to be able to support domestic fuel terminals with this step by offering them more deposit contracts in difficult economic times,’ explained Leppiman.

ESPA will continue to rotate the fuel stock to Estonia at the beginning of 2024, but a certain small amount is also planned to be left in the Nordic countries in the future. Keeping a part of the fuel stock abroad gives greater flexibility to react together with other countries in the solidarity release of the stock if the European Union or the International Energy Agency come up with such an initiative.

The state stock of liquid fuels lasts for 90 days under normal consumption. In addition, our fuel companies have significant commercial stocks – 29 days for petrol and 20 days for diesel as at 30 November. According to the ESPA, the supply of the Estonian market with different types of motor fuels remains at a good level.

According to Ando Leppiman, the past year has been significant for the Stockpiling Agency in other areas as well.

‘In 2023, for the first time, we created a stock of pharmaceutical drugs for the state. In the amount of one month’s normal consumption, the stock includes nearly a few hundred over-the-counter and prescription drugs that are sold the most in pharmacies, which are stored and renewed by drug wholesalers based on contracts concluded with the ESPA. With the country’s drug stockpile, we increase the security of supply of drugs and mitigate the risks associated with possible long-term supply disruptions. The necessity of the stock is well illustrated by the recent situation when in the autumn, pharmacies ran out of Sorbister, an essential drug for patients with acute and chronic kidney failure, and the critical supply disruption was alleviated by the use of the stock,’ explained the chairman of the board of ESPA.

The Estonian Stockpiling Agency is finishing the development of the Pakrineeme liquefied natural gas reception quay, acquired in the spring of 2023, into a functioning harbour. From the new year, Pakrineeme harbour is officially operational and ready to receive floating LNG terminals – from 1 January, the harbour’s regulations and price list will apply, and the harbour operator AS Tallinna Sadam will provide the necessary harbour services.

‘On behalf of the Estonian Stockpiling Agency, I would like to thank all cooperation partners who keep the state’s operating stockpile or otherwise contribute to increasing security of supply and operational continuity,’ said Ando Leppiman.

AS Eesti Varude Keskus (Estonian Stockpiling Agency, ESPA) is a state-owned strategic commercial undertaking which is responsible for ensuring the operating stockpile required for responding to emergencies and ensuring the security of supply, national security, and livelihood of the population, as well as the existence and commissioning of infrastructure.