Finland and Estonia to invest €187m in Baltic-connector gas pipeline
Finland and Estonia have signed an agreement to invest €187m in the Balticconnector, the first gas pipeline that will connect both countries.
The new pipeline will put an end to the long lasting gas isolation of Finland and also help improve the supply security within the region.
Comprising 22km Finnish, 50km Estonian onshore and 80km offshore sections, the Baltic-connector pipeline will enable the transport of 7.2 million m³ of gas per day with flows running in both directions.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said: "We are doing more than linking gas systems of two countries. We are bringing people and Member States in the region closer together by building a pipeline that unites European countries.
“As part of the Energy Union, we are building missing energy links, uniting markets, improving security of supply and ending the energy isolation of Member States."
Gas from the pipeline is expected to start flowing by 2020.
Estonia prime minister Taavi Rõivas said: "Baltic-connector signifies a key development for Nordic-Baltic energy market integration, for region's security and diversity of supply and for consumer benefit.
“Regional co-operation and EU's contribution allows for a change from entirely closed to one of the most diversified and open regional energy markets in the Union, with further prospects in upcoming years."
Upon completion, the Baltic-connector and the Gas Interconnector Poland–Lithuania (GIPL) will allow Finland and the Baltic States to diversify their gas sources and routes.
A total of €5.35bn is planned to be invested in European priority projects through 2020 under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
These projects are expected to improve the supply security and contribute to market integration.