The 150km long Balticconnector gas pipeline, which was actually opened for operation on the first day of the New Year, has connected the Finnish and Baltic States’ gas transmission systems, providing conditions for the gas market liberalisation in the said Northern country. Previously, all the necessary gas was supplied to Finland solely through gas pipelines from Russia.
‘The gas market being opened up for competition symbolises a new era of more favourable conditions for Finnish consumers. For instance, prices of gas supplied by Ignitis are linked to the price indexes of European gas markets, therefore the pricing is dependent on the market conditions. Ignitis also offers non-standard customised gas supply solutions to major Finnish gas consumers. It is estimated that, because of these arrangements, gas supplied to Finnish consumers may be up to one fifth cheaper when compared to the prices prior to the abolition of the market monopoly in the country.
Furthermore, the new connection will increase the security of gas supply, as the country will not be dependent on only one supplier and will have alternative choices. We are glad to be a part of this transformation and that we will begin the supply of significant amounts of gas to the Finnish industry from the first day of market liberalisation’ – says Haroldas Nausėda, a board member of Ignitis, who is responsible for business customers and international development.
Specialists of the company Ignitis have actively participated in discussions in Finland and consultations on the preparation for gas market liberalisation and the creation of the regulatory legal framework thereof. The company has by far the widest experience in the region due to having participated in the gas market liberalisation processes in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Finland had to liberalise its gas market in 2020 due to the ending of the transitional period for implementation of requirements of the third EU energy package in the gas supply sector. The said legal act requires separating gas and electricity transmission network activities from energy production and supply activities.
Ignitis is unique company in the region because it has ensured its gas supply from three different sources. The company has long-term LNG supply contracts and purchases gas at the market for short-term LNG contracts. Furthermore, the company purchases gas delivered through pipelines and actively uses the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility in Latvia.