Finland’s Gasgrid says Balticconnector gas pipeline back in service

The Balticconnector offshore gas pipeline, owned by Finland’s gas system and LNG terminal operator Gasgrid and Estonian gas system operator Elering, has resumed commercial operations some seven months after it was closed due to a rupture in October last year.

“Balticconnector’s commercial use has begun according to plans today, April 22,” Gasgrid said on Monday.

“According to the current forecast, market participants will transmit approximately 10 GWh of commercial gas from Estonia to Finland during this gas day, and approximately 70 GWh from Finland to Estonia,” it said.

Gasgrid Finland and Elering plan to transmit about 60 GWh of physical gas from Finland to Estonia during Monday.

“Balticconnector’s technical maximum capacity from Finland to Estonia is about 78 GWh/day, and so far gas transmission in the offshore pipeline has been operating normally,” Gasgrid said.

In November last year, Gasgrid and Elering, revealed plans to boost the capacity of the Balticconnector gas pipeline once repairs on the offshore section of the pipeline are complete.

The TSOs shut down the gas pipeline on October 8 due to a suspected leak and after that said that the earliest possible commissioning date of the Balticconnector would be at the beginning of April 2024.

Moreover, the National Bureau of Investigation, a unit of the Finnish Police, said in a statement on October 24 that a Hong Kong-flagged containership is believed to have caused the damage with its anchor.

The 77 kilometers bi-directional pipeline stretches from Paldiski, Estonia, to Inkoo, Finland where Gasgrid’s FSRU-based LNG import terminal is located.

Besides the offshore section, the pipeline includes land-based sections in Finland and Estonia.

Inkoo FSRU

During the outage of the pipeline, Finland secured its gas supplies through the Inkoo FSRU-based LNG terminal, but also the small Hamina LNG terminal.

Excelerate Energy’s 150,900-cbm FSRU Exemplar, which serves the Inkoo terminal, has a regasification capacity of more than 5 bcm per year.

Finnish state-owned energy firm Gasum said in January it has delivered the fourth large LNG cargo to the Inkoo FSRU since the Balticconnector was shut down in early October.

Besides Gasum, Eesti Gas, a unit of Estonian investment firm Infortar, said in November last year it will deliver three more LNG cargoes to the FSRU-based terminal during the winter.

Eesti Gas said it will deliver these shipments from Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG terminal to Inkoo.

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