OSLO (Reuters) - The laying of a gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea connecting Finland and Estonia, built to help both countries reduce their dependency on Russian gas, has been completed, one of the partners in the project said on Monday.
The 300 million euro ($341.34 million) project, called Balticconnector, is mostly funded by the European Union and will allow Finland to diversify the source of its gas imports, which were previously piped solely by Russia’s Gazprom.
Gas will flow both ways through the 150-kilometer (93.21 miles) pipeline, which will have a capacity of 7.2 million cubic meters per day.
Some of the gas that will be transported via the pipeline will continue to originate from Russia, but the link will also be able to transport gas that arrives at Baltic terminals in a liquefied state (LNG) and also supplies from continental Europe.
“We will proceed as planned towards the completion and commissioning of the pipeline by the end of 2019,” said Herkko Plit, managing director of Baltic Connector Oy, one of the partners in the project.
Covering the pipeline with rock is expected to be completed in July and a pressure test of the link will be conducted during the summer, said the statement.
The pipeline will be connected to ground pipelines in both countries during autumn, said partner Baltic Connector Oy. Its commercial operations are scheduled to start on January 1, 2020.
The partners in the project are Finland’s Baltic Connector Oy and Estonia’s Elering.
Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Louise Heavens