Vopak: Regional LNG terminal should be built at Muuga

TALLINN, Feb 01, BNS Muuga continues to be the most suitable location for the regional terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), the fuel transit company Vopak E.O.S. said on Wednesday.

When the governments of the Baltic countries and Finland start again to look for a new location for the regional LNG  terminal that is necessary for ensuring the region’s energy security, the Tallinn LNG terminal to be built in Muuga harbor has several advantages, Vopak, which has been leading the Muuga project, said.

Vopak E.O.S. finds that it makes sense that the Baltic countries are ready to evaluate the situation on the level of Governments and think what location and solution would be the best for the regional terminal. Just as prime minister Jüri Ratas said yesterday, the solution that is the most sensible economically and the most long-term should be identified when it comes to the regional LNG terminal,” Vopak E.O.S. CEO Arnout Lugtmeijer said in a press release.

The prime minister of Lithuania, Saulius Skvernelis, said at a meeting of Baltic heads of government in Tallinn on Tuesday that in his opinion the LNG terminal in Klaipeda, Lithuania, meets the needs of the whole region. Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas meanwhile said after the press conference that things are not certain yet.

“Having analyzed potential locations for terminals in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Vopak E.O.S. finds the eastern part of Muuga harbor to be uncontestedly the best choice. This was confirmed also by an analysis of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) in Gas work group in September 2015, which ranked the Tallinn LNG terminal project second best after the Finnish Finngulf project that has been discontinued by now,” Lugtmeijer said.

Construction of Phase One of the Tallinn LNG terminal at Muuga, consisting of a bunkering section and a section for filling tank trucks, will start this year. Building the regional terminal would be Phase Two of the project. Vopak E.O.S., which is developing the termial at Muuga in conjunction with Port of Tallinn, is preparing an application for financing of the project to Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), Vopak said.

Balti Gaas, a company of Alexela group, filed a financing application with CEF in October 2015. The sought amount is 344 million euros and Alexela expects to get a response from CEF in the early part of this year.

“With whatever terminal the exact configuration depends on to how big an extent the European Union will co-finance the Balticconnector project. Only then can the detailed parameters of the funding application of the Tallinn LNG terminal to be built at Muuga be set out. The application can be filed only once and it must very precisely describe the technical configuration of the would-be LNG terminal, which depends on the solution adopted for Balticconnector and the timetable of its completion,” Vopak E.O.S. CEO Arnout Lugtmeijer said at the time.

EU member states approved CEF financing for the Balticconnector project in the amount of 187.5 million euros in July 2016.

Tallinn newsroom, +372 610 8898, majandus@bns.ee