Port of Tallinn Signs Contract for LNG Terminal Study
Thursday, 03 May 2012 | 14:30
Energy distributor Elering and the Port of Tallinn have chosen Dutch company Vopak LNG as their partner in a project to study the feasibility of setting up a liquified natural gas terminal at Muuga Harbor.
A letter of intent signed by the three companies today states that they are willing to cooperate on a study of the technical and economic aspects of the terminal's construction and the need for European Union funding, a statement from Elering said.
Elering’s natural gas business developer Janek Parkman said that his company and the port authority of Tallinn, which began the process of choosing a partner at the beginning of the year, settled on Vopak LNG because of its global experience and the fact it met their requirement of being independent from gas vendors and producers.
“Vopak LNG has experience in establishing and operating the largest LNG terminal in Europe: the GATE terminal in Rotterdam, which makes Vopak LNG the most considerable strategic partner for the developers of LNG terminals in the region of the Baltic Sea,” said Parkman.
The study is expected to be completed by August, at which time the results will be presented to the Natural Gas Committee at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The study could also be used to convince the European Commission that the proposed Tallinn LNG terminal project would be suitable for supplying all three Baltic countries and Finland, Elering said.
If the EC does decide that the Muuga terminal is the best location for a Baltic LNG terminal, it would be a coup for Estonia. All three Baltic countries have been fighting for the right to host the joint facility, which is meant to open up the region's gas market to competition, breaking the current supply monopoly held by Russia.
The European Commission has in the past said that it would support the development of the LNG terminal in the Baltics on the condition that it is able to cover at least 25 percent of the consumption of the entire region, Elering said.
Vopak LNG is a subsidiary of Rotterdam-based Royal Vopak N.V., which owns 50 percent of Estonia's largest oil terminal operator, Vopak EOS.
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