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Latvia’s PM: underground gas storage facilities contribute to the security of energy supply

Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš visited the Inčukalns underground gas storage and has welcomed the results of the storage operation and the implementation of the European interest projects that are underway in it, as they contribute significantly to the security of energy supply of Latvia and the whole region while also strengthening the country’s energy independence.

By 2025 a total investment of 93.5 million euros is expected which will strengthen the infrastructure of strategic importance of the country and promote the role of storage in the international market, with a positive impact on a number of sectors, including the employment of local labour.

In a meeting with the management of the joint natural gas transmission and storage system operator Conexus Baltic Grid, the Prime Minister also discussed the results of the current single Baltic gas market and the further development steps, where three countries – Latvia, Estonia and Finland – have joined since 1 January 2020, thereby promoting market competition and highlighting the path towards a single European Union single gas market.

The visit also discussed the Conexus strategy and the steps to date in the use of sustainable gases, with a view to establishing a solution for climate neutrals under the European Green Course, using existing infrastructure.

“Inčukalns underground gas storage plays a strategically important role in promoting energy security for Latvia and the region and it is important that safe natural gas reserves can be stored in storage for the successful operation of the supply system under different conditions,” said Conexus chairman of the board Uldis Bariss. “Storage is also important in the Baltic States’ electricity system synchronisation project, which is implemented by 2025 with a view to becoming part of the European system for the Baltic electricity transmission system, thereby strengthening energy independence and integration in the European Union market and therefore it is essential to continue the current development course and strengthen the storage role in the long term.”

The importance of storage is also demonstrated by the high interest of traders, who continue to grow annually. For example, when opening a reservation for the 2020/2021 annual cycle, the amount of bookings made exceeded the total storage capacity of approximately 7 times the available storage capacity.

Photo: State Chancellery

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