Finland is taking steps to enhance the security of its energy infrastructure by including a floating gas terminal in its list of strategic facilities. The decision follows suspicious circumstances surrounding leakage from the Balticconnector, an undersea gas pipe connecting Finland and Estonia. To address this issue, the country’s authorities are preparing a decree that will restrict access, travel, and residence in the area around the Inkoo LNG floating terminal.
According to the Interior Ministry, the inclusion of the terminal in the list of strategic facilities is aimed at minimizing the potential dangers and risks associated with the location. The ministry emphasized that without permission from the operator in the area, it will be forbidden to travel or stay in an area subject to these restrictions. This move demonstrates Finland’s commitment to safeguarding its energy infrastructure and ensuring the uninterrupted supply of liquefied natural gas.
The need for increased security measures became apparent when the Balticconnector offshore natural gas pipeline experienced leakage and had to be shut down. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto even suggested that this may have been a deliberate act, raising concerns over the vulnerability of critical energy infrastructure. In addition, last September, Russia’s Nord Stream natural gas pipelines near Finland were damaged by underwater explosions, rendering them inoperable.
In response to these incidents, Finnish authorities have initiated an investigation into the suspected “external activity” that caused damage to the Balticconnector. This incident serves as a wake-up call for Finland and its Nordic neighbors, prompting them to bolster security measures and patrols near critical energy infrastructure.
The Inkoo LNG terminal was established in January to ensure a stable supply of natural gas. It was the result of a collaboration between Gasgrid Finland Oy and US company Excelerate Energy, with the agreement reached in May 2022. This development came shortly after Russia cut off pipeline gas supply to Finland due to a dispute over payment in rubles.
The inclusion of the Inkoo LNG terminal in the list of strategic facilities reflects Finland’s proactive approach to protecting its energy infrastructure. By imposing restrictions on access, travel, and residence, the country aims to mitigate potential risks and safeguard its liquefied natural gas operations. This enhanced security framework will contribute to the long-term stability and reliability of Finland’s energy supply.
As Finland takes steps to fortify its energy infrastructure, its Nordic neighbors are likely to follow suit. The incidents involving the Balticconnector and the Nord Stream pipelines have underscored the importance of robust security measures in the region. By collaborating and sharing best practices, the Nordic countries can create a unified front against potential threats to their critical energy infrastructure.
In conclusion, Finland’s decision to include the Inkoo LNG terminal in the list of strategic facilities is a strategic move to enhance the security of its energy infrastructure. The suspicious circumstances surrounding the leakage from the Balticconnector have raised concerns about the vulnerability of critical energy infrastructure in the region. By restricting access, travel, and residence in the area, Finland aims to minimize the risks and ensure the uninterrupted supply of liquefied natural gas. This development serves as a reminder of the need for increased security measures and closer cooperation among Nordic countries to safeguard their critical energy infrastructure.