Europe approves aid for Finland's first LNG terminal
The European Commission has concluded that Finland's plans to grant €23 million of public funding for the construction of a small scale LNG terminal at Pori, in the Satakunta region on Finland's west coast, are compatible with EU state aid rules.
The project aims to encourage the use of LNG as fuel for ships, in place of fuel oils and liquefied petroleum gases. The Commission concluded that the project contributes to environmental protection and to the security of gas supply in Finland whilst maintaining competition in the Single Market.
Seeking to end the energy isolation of the Baltic Sea Region and to integrate it fully into the EU energy markets is a key building block for the EU’s Energy Union strategy and one of the key priorities of the Juncker Commission.
EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said: "The LNG terminal in Pori is the first of its kind in Finland. It will provide a new source of cleaner fuel for the maritime industry and diversify Finland's gas supply sources. It is a good example of how EU state aid rules can encourage sound public investment that helps the EU reach its goals on energy security and environmental protection."
Currently, there are no LNG terminals in Finland. The Pori project is part of Finland’s plans to create a network of small scale LNG terminals with the aim of offering alternative fuel infrastructure to the maritime industry, i.e. LNG fuelling stations for ships.
The project will bring about a significant reduction in CO2 emissions by providing cleaner fuel for maritime transport. At the same time, the LNG infrastructure will increase the security of supply in Finland, providing local industries with access to gas.
The Pori terminal has a storage capacity of 30 000 m3. The public funding of €23 441 500 will cover less than 30% of the total investment costs; the remainder will be funded by the developer and future owner of the terminal. ■