Finland Terminal Receives First LNG Cargo after Pipeline Breach

FSRU Exemplar - Credit: Excelerate Energy
FSRU Exemplar - Credit: Excelerate Energy

A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) arrived at Finland's Inkoo terminal on Tuesday, vessel tracking data showed, the first such cargo to appear following the Oct. 8 outage of a Finnish-Estonian gas pipeline.

The Maran Gas Vergina, carrying U.S. natural gas, docked next to the Exemplar floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), which was installed late last year to facilitate LNG imports and thus boost Finland's energy security.

The cargo belongs to Finnish gas supplier Gasum, the company told Reuters.

The Balticconnector pipeline linking Finland and Estonia ruptured in what authorities said may have been a deliberate act of sabotage, cutting off the flow of gas between the two countries for at least six months.

When the damage occurred, the bi-directional pipeline transported gas from Finland to Estonia, some for consumption and some to be stored in the Baltic region for later retrieval by Finnish companies.

The FSRU and the smaller Hamina LNG site ensure that Finland has enough gas import capacity to cover peak winter demand, making up for supply lost via the Balticconnector and a cutoff since last year of supply from Russia, analysts have said.

"The disruption of the Balticconnector pipeline limits the possibility of Finland's cooperation with the Baltic states," European gas transmission system operators' organisation Entsog said in its winter supply outlook report on Tuesday.

"But at the same time (it) does not pose a significant risk to the security of gas supplies in the region," Entsog said.

Finland on Oct. 13 said it will tighten access to parts of the Inkoo port as part of efforts in the region to intensify security at energy installations.

 (Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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