The first gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, the Balticconnector, has entered into commercial use since the start of 2020. It ends Finland’s isolation from the EU gas market and helps ensure the energy security of supply in the region.
Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said:
The Balticconnector pipeline is a landmark energy project for the region. Not only does it connect the Finnish and Estonian gas markets, but it provides more options for the Baltic energy system as a whole. This project is a concrete expression of European solidarity and will help deliver affordable, safe and sustainable energy for our people.
As an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI), the Balticconnector received financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the preparatory studies and works. The €187,5 million grant for works was awarded in August 2016 and covered 75% of the construction costs, the maximum co-financing level permitted.
The works comprised the construction of three pipeline sections: the 21 km-long onshore pipeline in Finland, the 77 km-long offshore pipeline, and the 54 km-long onshore pipeline in Estonia as well as the installation of auxiliary equipment including a pressure reduction station in Estonia and compressor and metering stations in both countries. The 152 km gas pipeline is bi-directional with a transmission capacity of 7.2 million cubic metres of gas per day.
Under the CEF programme, €5.35 billion has been made available for trans-European energy infrastructure for the 2014-2020 period. The programme supports the key objectives of the energy union by promoting further integration of the internal energy market, enhancing the security of energy supply and integrating energy from renewable sources into the network. To be eligible for a grant, a proposal has to be included on the PCI list, which the Commission adopts every two years. In total, €3.8 billion of EU funding has been allocated to 96 PCIs so far.
8 January 2020