The European Commission has committed €23 million in funding to build a small scale LNG terminal at Pori on Finland’s west coast – the first of its kind in the country.
The terminal, which will significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the region, 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 like LNG fuelling stations for ships.
"It will provide a new source of cleaner fuel for the maritime industry and diversify Finland's gas supply sources,” said Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of completion policy.
“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,” Ms Vestager added.
Once completed, the Pori terminal will have a storage capacity of 30,000m³. The LNG infrastructure will increase the security of supply in Finland, providing local industries with access to gas. 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.
The European Commission says its funding is vital since Finland currently has no LNG infrastructure, meaning potential customers are reluctant to carry out the long-term and costly investments for switching to LNG fuel. In turn, private investors have no incentive to build LNG infrastructure because there is no demand.
Moreover, the Commission says the operator of the infrastructure will be under an obligation to provide access to interested users at a competitive price. This will ensure that the aid is limited to the minimum necessary for triggering the investment and that distortions of competition and trade are minimised.