The environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Balticconnector initiative is underway, Gasum said in a statement. The purpose of the environmental impact assessment is to map the environmental impact of Balticconnector, a proposed pipeline under the Gulf of Finland, connecting Finnish and Estonian gas grids.
Gasum’s Estonian partner in the Balticconnector project is gas grid operator AS EG Võrguteenus.
Gasum’s ongoing Finngulf LNG and Balticconnector projects aim for an LNG import terminal in Joddböle, Inkoo and the Balticconnector subsea natural gas pipeline between Inkoo and Paldinski. As a part of the project the possibilities of establishing an LNG terminal in Tolkkinen, Porvoo and natural gas pipelines between Inkoo and Siuntio as well as Paldinski and Kiili were also examined.
Joining the gas grids is a part of Gasum’s plan of constructing an LNG import terminal in Joddböle, Inkoo. Through the Balticconnector pipeline the Inkoo terminal would serve both Finnish and Baltic gas markets. The connection would enable the transmission of gas in both directions between Finland and Estonia.
Both the LNG terminal and the Balticconnector pipeline are listed on the European Union’s Projects of Common Interest list, which makes them eligible for EU funding.
In accordance with a mutual agreement between Finland and Estonia, assessment procedures began at the same time in both countries. The initiative is carried out in accordance with the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, also known as the Espoo Convention. Based on the convention, both parties can comment on the initiative’s environmental impact across national boundaries, from Estonia to Finland and vice versa.
The EIA will look at four possible options: Two alternative routes on Finnish territorial waters and two alternative routes on Estonian territorial waters. In Finland the pipeline would come ashore in the Joddböle region of Inkoo. In Estonia alternative locations are situated on the Paldiski peninsula.
The EIA programme for Balticconnector was completed in early 2014 and has been handed to officials in each country in January 2014: the Uusimaa ELY-Centre in Finland and the Ministry of Economic affairs and Communications in Estonia. The EIA programme features a report on the current status of the area examined as well as a plan for the kinds of environmental impact to be assessed and ways of carrying out the EIA report. In the second stage of the EIA, a report on the environmental impact of the initiative will be written based on the EIA programme and related statements and comments.
Press Release, February 10, 2014