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EU country to restrict access to LNG terminal after suspected pipeline sabotage – ministry

Finland is set to restrict access to part of the Port of Inga hosting one of its two floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, as it seeks to boost the security of its energy infrastructure, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

The decision was made due to suspicious circumstances surrounding leakage from the Balticconnector, an undersea gas pipe connecting Finland and Estonia.

The country’s authorities are preparing a decree that would include the area around the Inkoo LNG floating terminal to a list of 230 facilities of strategic importance where access, travel, and residence are restricted.

  • “Traffic or stay may be restricted in a location or in its surroundings due to the danger that the location poses or is exposed to. It is forbidden to travel or stay in an area subject to restrictions without permission from the operator in the area,” the ministry said on its website.

The Balticconnector offshore natural gas pipeline was shut down on Sunday morning due to leakage. On Tuesday, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto suggested that the pipeline and telecoms cable may have been damaged in a deliberate act.

Finnish authorities have launched a probe into the suspected “external activity” which caused damage to the Balticconnector. This comes a year after Russia’s nearby Nord Stream natural gas pipelines were ruptured by underwater explosions last September, rendering them inoperable.

The incident has prompted Finland and its Nordic neighbors to increase security measures and patrols near critical energy infrastructure.

  • Finland set up the Inkoo LNG terminal in January under a deal between Gasgrid Finland Oy and US company Excelerate Energy that was struck in May 2022, days after Russia cut off pipeline gas supply to Finland due to Helsinki’s reluctance to pay for the fuel in rubles.

Source: RT