Baltic Connector and Elering have signed an agreement with Swiss company Allseas for the installation of the $282m Balticconnector offshore gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland.
Baltic Connector is a state-owned company launched in 2015 to implement the Finnish part of the Balticconnector gas pipeline, which will connect the gas grids of the Finland and Estonia.
Planned to be commissioned in 2020, the transnational gas pipeline is intended to create alternative supply channels for the isolated Finnish gas market. It will connect Finland to the transmission network of rest of EU countries.
Allseas plans to commence the installation work in summer 2018 with seabed preparations while the actual pipeline installation is scheduled to commence in summer 2019.
Baltic Connector project director Tom Främling said: “This agreement is a significant milestone for the Balticconnector project and shows that the project is proceeding as planned.”
Upon completion of the work scheduled in autumn 2019, the project partners will prepare the offshore pipeline for commercial use.
Baltic Connector president and CEO Herkko Plit said: “The goal of the project is to enable the opening of the Finnish gas market in 2020. Constructing the Balticconnector offshore pipeline is one of the key parts in linking the Finnish and Baltic gas markets and integrating them with the EU’s common energy market.
“With this agreement, we are taking several steps towards completing the project within schedule.”
The pipeline, which will connect Paldiski, Estonia, and Inkoo, Finland, will have a capacity of 7.2 million cubic meters a day (Mm³/d) with a throughput of five terawatt hour a year (TWh/y) from the terminal.
The 150km pipeline is segmented into three divisions. These include a 22km Finnish onshore section, an 81km offshore section on the seabed of the Gulf of Finland, and a 47km Estonian onshore section.