Gasgrid Finland has inked a letter of intent with Fortum to place the floating LNG terminal vessel Exemplar at the latter’s Inkoo port on the southern coast of Finland.

Exemplar will be Finland’s first floating LNG terminal when it becomes available next winter.

The floating storage and regasification vessel (FSRU) has been leased by Gasgrid Finland from US-based LNG company Excelerate Energy for a duration of 10 years.

FSRU Exemplar has a volume of nearly 151,000 cubic meters. This corresponds to around 68,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) when fully loaded.

The capacity of the floating LNG terminal vessel is said to be adequate to meet the gas requirements of Finland as well as Estonia. The FSRU’s necessity for the region comes at a time when Russian gas supplies via the Imatra entry point have been stopped since May 2022.

Besides, the vessel can offer over five billion cubic meters per year (bcm/y) of regasification capacity.

FSRU Exemplar’s evaporation capacity is said to surpass the annual natural gas demand of Finland, which historically has been around 25TWh per year.

The considerable capacity brought in by the floating LNG terminal vessel will cater to the gas market in the entire Baltic Sea region through the Balticconnector interconnector pipeline, said Gasgrid Finland.

Gasgrid Finland CEO Olli Sipilä said: “The vessel project is absolutely essential for the security of supply of natural gas in the Baltic region – and therefore extremely urgent. I’m pleased that the decision on the location of the terminal was made in such fast schedule.

“As the need for the terminal covers the entire Baltic Sea region, Inkoo provides an excellent location for the vessel.”

The Port of Inkoo is a deep-water port situated in the Fortum Joddböle industrial area, nearly 60km west of Helsinki. It is located approximately 1.5km from the Balticconnector natural gas pipeline that unites the gas markets of Finland and the Baltic countries.

Fortum CEO Markus Rauramo said: “At Fortum, we are very pleased to support energy security, industry as well as our national economy during these challenging times.

“Our Inkoo port is located on the site of our decommissioned coal power plant and provides nearly ready-to-use infrastructure and an optimal location for the country’s first floating LNG terminal. In the future, our plan is to further develop industrial activity on the site, so that it can contribute to the decarbonisation of society.”

Apart from Inkoo, Gasgrid Finland and Elering, an Estonian electricity and gas transmission system operator, continue to prepare a potential site in Estonia, as planned originally. The purpose of this is to alleviate potential project risks and increase the chances that one of the sites is ready as soon as possible for the next winter.