“Gasum does not accept Gazprom Export’s request to switch to ruble payments and will therefore not make payments in rubles or in accordance with the proposed payment arrangement. In addition, the companies have a significant dispute over other claims made under the agreement, the company said press release on tuesday.
It is possible that as a result of the disagreement, natural gas supplies from Russia to Finland will be cut off on Saturday, according to Gasum. The Finnish natural gas infrastructure, ie the liquefied natural gas terminal vessels and the natural gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, is not believed to be sufficient to compensate for a possible disruption of gas supplies from Russia.
Gasum stated that it is prepared for the possibility in cooperation with its customers and security authorities.
“We will be able to leverage a variety of purchasing channels and store gas to meet our customers’ acute needs during the summer season, assuming there are no challenges in distribution capacity.” Mika WiljanenCEO of Gasum, said To Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday. “Challenges will arise later in the winter when the capacity of the Baltic Connector between Finland and Estonia will be limited.”
He refused to disclose the amount of natural gas stored to avoid disruption, citing the sensitivity of the matter.
In its report, Helsingin Sanomat emphasized that natural gas is not as critical for Finland as it is for many countries in Central and Southern Europe, for example. Gas accounted for only five percent of the country’s total energy consumption last year and is fairly easily replaced by other fuels in energy production.
The Finnish authorities have indicated that they are prepared to take special measures to ensure the availability of gas for households using gas for heating.
However, stopping the import of natural gas would cause problems for the industry. Two-thirds of the country’s natural gas is used as a process raw material for industry, mainly the chemical and forestry industries.
According to Wiljanen, Gasum had no choice but to resort to arbitration.
“We are doing everything we can to supply our Finnish customers with the energy they need,” he emphasized in the press release.
Russia last weekend suspended electricity exports to Finland, citing “difficulties in obtaining payments for electricity sold on the market”. The Finnish transmission network company Fingrid has estimated that the suspension of electricity imports will not lead to significant increases in electricity prices.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page