HELSINKI: Finland’s state-owned gas company Gasum has announced that imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Finland from Russia’s Gazprom Export would end on Saturday morning.
Gazprom Export has informed Gasum that natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum’s supply contract will be halted at 7 a.m. on Saturday (May 21, 2022), said the Finnish energy company on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Therefore, Gasum will continue supplying natural gas to its customers the Balticconnector pipeline. The company’s gas filling stations in the gas network area will continue to operate normally.
Mika Wiljanen, CEO of Gasum, said the situation was “highly regrettable”.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gasum had announced that it was refusing to pay Gazprom Export in rubles, as the Russian company had requested at the beginning of April. Therefore, Gazprom Export notified Gasum that the gas supply would end.
Although the use of natural gas amounts only to five per cent of the Finnish energy mix, the sudden cessation of its supply from Russia will have economic and consumer repercussions until alternative systems are deployed.
Pia Oesch, Energy sector Director from the National Energy Supply Agency (HVK), said the capacity of the Balticconnector is sufficient to meet Finland’s needs during the summer.
However, this situation may change in the autumn if the crisis continues, Oesch added.
According to Finland’s Energy Authority, most of the natural gas used in Finland is currently imported from Russia. There is no natural gas production in Finland. LNG is imported to Finland by ship, while small amounts of biogas produced in Finland are supplied to the natural gas network, but these are not sufficient in volume to replace Russian imports.
The Finnish government announced on Friday that a floating LNG terminal ship is set to arrive in southern Finland, ready to be used next winter.
Gasgrid Finland and US-based Excelerate Energy have signed a ten-year lease agreement for the LNG terminal ship Exemplar, which will help Finland to meet its gas needs in the event that imports of Russian pipeline gas are shut down.
Economic Affairs Minister, Mika Lintila said the LNG terminal ship would play a major role in securing gas supplies for Finland’s industry.
“It is equally important to move construction and permit procedures forward without delay so that the vessel will be ready to operate on the coast of Finland by next winter,” he added.
One week earlier, Russian state-owned company RAO Nordic cut off all exports of electricity to Finland.
Finnish media have predicted that the disruption of electricity and gas supplies from Russia will put more cost pressure on a situation where energy prices are already at record highs, and have a severe impact on the economy and employment of Finland.