The European Commission has approved Finnish government plans to grant EUR23.44 million (USD26.11 million) towards the EUR81 million total cost of building an LNG bunkering terminal at Pori on the Nordic country’s west coast.
The commission said that the grant was compatible with European Union state aid rules, arguing that the terminal, Finland’s first LNG terminal, would simply not get built without public financial support.
Finland currently had no LNG infrastructure, it said, with the result that potential LNG users were reluctant to invest in converting to LNG use, while, without demand, investors had no incentive to invest in LNG infrastructure.
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that the new terminal would provide cleaner fuel for the maritime sector and, more generally, enable Finland to diversify its 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,” she said.
Construction of the new terminal, which will have a storage capacity of 30,000 m³ and is due to be the first in a network of LNG bunkering stations in Finland, began in autumn last year and is due to be completed in autumn next year.
It is being built by Skangas, a subsidiary of Finland’s Gasum Corporation (51%) and Norway’s Lyse Energi (49%) and will supply LNG to local industry, as well as to the shipping industry.
Commission approval for Finnish government for the project had been expected following publication in April last year of new guidelines on the use of state aid for environmental protection and energy projects.