Finland opens floating LNG terminal to replace Russian gas

Vessel docks in port of Inkoo to receive gas shipments by sea

The vessel Exemplar arrived at the port of Inkoo with a full load of liquefied gas. Bloomberg
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Finland has joined Germany in chartering a floating gas terminal to end its reliance on Russian pipelines.

The vessel Exemplar has been anchored in the Finnish harbour of Inkoo to receive shipments of liquefied natural gas.

The imported LNG will be vaporised on board and piped into the Finnish energy grid, with deliveries expected to start in January.

The €460 million ($490 million) project could also serve Poland and the Baltic states via an undersea pipeline, operators said.

Finland uses many wood fuels from its forests and is not as reliant on gas as some European countries.

However, the gas it does use was mostly imported from Russia until the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian exporter Gazprom cut off supplies in May after Finland refused the Kremlin’s demand to pay in roubles.

“The LNG floating terminal project is highly important for Finnish society as a whole and today we are making Finnish economic history,” said Olli Sipila, the head of operator Gasgrid Finland.

“Finland will permanently phase out its dependency on Russian gas and will greatly improve [its] security of supply.”

Finland's energy sector is working to replace the Russian imports that were cut off in May. AFP

A smaller terminal on land opened in October, with about half the capacity of the Exemplar.

The floating terminal could in theory handle enough gas to meet Finland’s entire annual demand.

Another two terminals in Tornio and Pori serve local heavy industry.

Finland has also rewritten its defence policy since the war began, applying with Sweden to join Nato.

It limited tourist visas for Russians after many people drove over the land border to Helsinki Airport.

Gas company Gasum said last month that supplies from Russia would be non-existent “for the time being”.

Moscow has similarly cut off supplies to Germany and several others in the fall-out from the war in Ukraine.

Germany entered the LNG market for the first time by opening a terminal in Wilhelmshaven on its North Sea coast.

Updated: December 29, 2022, 12:10 PM