Preparations ongoing for the opening up of the Finnish gas market
In Finland, the government has taken a decision regarding an ownership arrangement that forms part of the preparation process for the opening of the Finnish gas market on January 1, 2020. That is when gas major Gasum Oy’s gas sales and transmission operations will be separated according to the new Natural Gas Market Act.
In September 2018, Gasum founded a new 100 percent owned subsidiary company, Suomen Kaasunsiirtopalvelut Oy, which is tasked with planning development processes for the new gas Transmission system Operator (TSO) after the gas market opens in 2020.
Already then it was decided that the state-owned project company Baltic Connector Oy, which is building the Balticconnector gas interconnector between Finland and Estonia, will be transferred to the new subsidiary by the end of this year. The decision regarding the transfer of Baltic Connector Oy was made by the Finnish government on December 19, 2018.
The Balticconnector pipeline will eventually be part of the unbundled gas TSO. The decision to integrate the Balticconnector project with Gasum Group aims to ensure that the gas infrastructure is being developed as a single entity and that it will continue to serve Finnish gas users in a cost-efficient manner.
Gasum gave up the implementation of the Balticconnector project in late 2015 as the project was not seen to be commercially viable. However, the situation in the Finnish gas market has since changed significantly, with the Finnish government choosing to implement the Balticconnector project after receiving substantial funding from the EU and with the decision being taken to open the Finnish gas market for competition by the beginning of 2020.
In the new situation, this integration ensures that the Finnish gas system and transmission network are being developed cohesively to support the Finnish energy market.