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No Progress in Brussels Talks on LNG Terminal

Debate over the site of the region's planned LNG terminal has come no closer to conclusion as the economy ministers of the Baltic states, Finland and Poland failed to make headway in talks with European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger in Brussels yesterday.

Estonia and Finland are both vying for the 300 to 500-million-euro investment that hosting the liquified natural gas terminal would bring.

"The economic gain of Estonian projects, as well as the investors' readiness to invest, is greater than in Finland,“ said Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs Juhan Parts. "Another issue is the project's outlook with regard to time and when it is possible to finish it. According to current information, Estonian projects are a bit further along.“

Finnish Economy Minister Jan Vapaavuori adamantly maintained that the cost and time frame for building the project would be the same on both sides of the gulf, but that Finland would be the more efficient supplier for the Baltic region.

A stalemate would mean the loss of a subsidy of up to 50 percent from the EU.

"The biggest risk is that if we don't reach an agreement on where to build it, it won't be built at all," said Vapaavuori.

Parts said there is a good chance an agreement could be reached at a European Council summit in May.

The terminal, due for completion in 2016, would allow the Baltic region to have greater independence from Russian supplier Gazprom, giving consumers more variety and hopefully lower gas rates.

ERR News

08.03.2013

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