Balticconnector lined up for EU’s financial backing

Finnish Baltic Connector project and the Estonian Elering, will be granted a total of €187.5 million from the European Commission for the construction of the Balticconnector pipeline between the two countries. 

According to a statement by the Finnish ministry of economic affairs and employment issued on Monday, that grant will cover 75 percent of the project’s total cost estimated at €250 million.

The Balticconnector project, which will enable gas transmission between the natural gas pipeline infrastructures of Finland and Estonia, is scheduled for completion by 2020.

Currently, Finland imports natural gas to its own network only from Russia. The new transmission capacity is a prerequisite for an effective opening of Finland’s isolated natural gas markets to competition, the ministry’s statement reads.

With further EU investments, Finland’s gas network will be linked to the European gas market, while the development of the infrastructure in the Baltic will enable Finland and Estonia to access underground gas storage facilities in Latvia.

Minister of economic affairs, Olli Rehn noted that the Finnish market is set to open due to diversification of import options adding that “together with the jointly built LNG terminals, the new pipeline connection will significantly strengthen the security of energy supply,”

The ministry additionally amended the natural gas market act to open up wholesale and retail markets to competition but also to improve the competitiveness of natural gas and to reduce regulation applying to natural gas companies.

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