Balticconnector gas pipeline back in operation following six-month shut-down

The Balticconnector gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, which was shut down in October 2023 due to a rupture, has commenced commercial operations following the completion of repair work.

Estonian transmission system operator (TSO) Elering and its Finnish counterpart Gasgrid closed Balticconnector on the night of October 8, 2023, as the pressure in the gas pipeline began to drop rapidly, indicating a leak.

The pipeline was isolated shortly after the discovery by closing the valves. The gas leak caused by the verified damage in the pipeline stopped with the isolation of the pipe and the closing of the valves. A few days later, it was reported that the gas pipeline had broken due to external damage in Finland’s economic zone.

Elering reported on April 4 that the repairs of the offshore pipeline had been completed according to plans, and the integrity and strength of the pipe had been tested with a water pressure test. Balticconnector’s commercial use began according to plans today, 22 April.

According to the current forecast, market participants will transmit approximately 10 GWh of commercial gas from Estonia to Finland during this gas day, and approximately 70 GWh from Finland to Estonia.

Gasgrid and Elering plan to transmit approximately 60 GWh of physical gas from Finland to Estonia during this day, which is the difference between the commercial transmission volumes described above.

Balticconnector’s technical maximum capacity from Finland to Estonia is about 78 GWh/day, and so far gas transmission in the offshore pipeline has been operating normally, Gasgrid reported.

Balticconnector is the first gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia. The 152-kilometer-long gas pipeline, which entered into commercial use at the start of 2020, ends Finland’s isolation from the EU gas market and helps ensure the energy security of supply in the region.