To support the goals of the EU’s Energy Union, a decision was made in 2018 to open the Finnish gas market on 1 January 2020. The decision has led to reformations in the natural gas legislation, which affect arranging the current natural gas transmission network and sales and in organising the ownership of Baltic Connector Oy.
According to the new natural gas legislation, the natural gas transmission network must be separated from sales by 2020. The owner of the transmission network must be an independent and neutral party. In 2018, the government completed preparatory measures for the opening of the gas market. The measures taken in 2018 to prepare for the opening of the gas market included initiating the separation of the sales and the transmission business at Gasum. Additionally, a new company, Suomen Kaasunsiirtopalvelut Oy (Finnish Gas Transmission Services), was established at the end of 2018 tasked with organising the operation of the independent gas transmission company that launches on 1 January 2020.
Due to these changes, the company constructing the Balticconnector pipeline, Baltic Connector, has been transferred under Suomen Kaasunsiirtopalvelut Oy, effective as of 1 January 2019. At the same context, a new governance with Esko Pyykkönen as a Chairman of the Board was designated to Baltic Connector. In addition to this, Baltic Connector does close cooperation with Suomen Kaasunsiirtopalvelut Oy in developing Finnish gas market. Despite the reorganisations mentioned above, Baltic Connector Oy will continue implementing the Balticconnector project independently until the project is completed.
The following year will involve many measures to prepare for the open gas market. The construction work of Balticconnector is in progress and proceeding according to schedule. Suomen Kaasunsiirtopalvelut Oy is starting its operational activies and preparing the operations of the gas transmission company that will commence along the new open gas market, as well as preparing the communication channels for informing current topics in the natural gas market. In addition, market integration work with the Baltic countries is gradually proceeding. The talks between Estonia, Latvia and Finland on harmonising the gas market have continued actively since the memorandum of understanding was signed in October 2018, and the goal is to complete the first step in the market integration of the countries at the start of 2020.
Herkko Plit, President and CEO, Baltic Connector Oy, tel. +358 50 4620 788