The Natural Gas Market Act of Finland is being revised. Baltic Connector Oy has submitted a statement on the Government bill on 7 April 2017.
The long-term development of the gas market in Finland requires an accurate date for the opening of the natural gas market. Otherwise, development work will be more complicated and generate more costs to the market parties. The CEF funding support granted to Balticconnector by the EU is tied to the opening of the Finnish natural gas market, and Finland should take this into account when enacting a new Natural Gas Market Act. The EU’s energy infrastructure regulation requires that the EU member states should take every effort to implement Projects of Common Interest in their spheres of responsibility. With the CEF agreement, Baltic Connector Oy is contractually and the State of Finland politically tied to the opening of the natural gas market, and the agreement obliges the company to build the Balticconnector pipeline on the schedule specified in the agreement.
The company’s view is that the Natural Gas Directive requires Finland to unbundle its natural gas sales and transmission network into separate businesses when the capacity of an alternative import source exceeds a 25% limit. Klaipeda’s LNG terminal in Lithuania and the transmission network in the Baltics fulfil the limit set for an alternative import source in the Baltics and Finland taken together. In other words, Finland should thus unbundle its natural gas sales and transmission network into separate businesses by 2020 at the latest. This also obliges Finland to open the gas market.
The gas pipeline projects in Finland and the Baltics which have already been decided on and for which funding is in place − Balticconnector, Karksi’s compressor station in Estonia, and the Gas Interconnection Poland Lithuania (GIPL) − enable connecting the Finnish gas network first to the Baltic gas network and, once the GIPL is ready in 2021, to the European gas market (the investment decision and schedule for the GIPL project have been signed with the European Commission). Finland will not incur extra expenses on account of the above-mentioned gas investments in the Baltic region.
President and CEO, Herkko Plit, tel. +358 50 4620 788