Finland moves ahead with floating LNG terminal to bolster energy security

COPENHAGEN, June 9 (Reuters) - Fortum (FORTUM.HE) and Finnish gas system operator Gasgrid announced on Thursday a deal to place Finland's first floating LNG import terminal at the Baltic Sea port of Inkoo, aiming to have it ready to operate next winter.

The planned floating storage and regasification (FSRU) terminal, which was first announced in April, is crucial to secure Finland energy supplies after Russia halted gas exports last month. read more

"The LNG terminal will make it possible for us to break free from Russian gas," Finland's Finance Minister Annika Saarikko said in a statement.

The vessel, in which liquefied natural gas is re-vaporised and fed into the gas transmission network, will be able to cover the gas needs of both Finland and Estonia.

LNG will be delivered to the terminal by tankers from the global market two to three times a month, Gasgrid said.

The FSRU will be leased from U.S. based Excelerate Energy for a duration of ten years, Finland, which does not produce gas domestically, announced last month.

Gasgrid and the Estonian electricity and gas transmission system operator Elering are also developing a potential site for the FSRU in Estonia, to ensure that an alternative exists in case of delay.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, editing by Terje Solsvik, Kirsten Donovan

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