An important step towards regional gas market integration between Baltic States and Finland

Energy ministries, regulators and transmission system operators from Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania on 20 April 2020 have given their agreement to a roadmap establishing a process for the future regional gas market integration of their respective countries. This common regional gas market will be the first four-country wide cross-border gas market merger in the EU.

The Regional Gas Market integration process started as a political process in which the Baltic States’ Prime Ministers endorsed, in December 2015 in Riga, the Regional Gas Market Development Action Plan and invited Finland to take part in this process. The objective is to establish a merged, regional gas market in Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania, encompassing all four Member States, with the objective to improve market liquidity, integration and competition, ensuring affordable gas prices and high quality service, thus being attractive for existing and new market participants.

Market integration is an opportunity for the Baltic States and Finland to make the best use of the existing and future infrastructure such as gas storage facilities, LNG terminals, the Balticconnector and the Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania (GIPL). It is also a chance to increase competition to the benefit of the end-consumers in the region by attracting suppliers which otherwise will not come as the separate markets are relatively small.

The Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) Action Plan includes a precise task for the preparation of a regional gas market model in the Baltic States and interconnected gas market with Finland. With the establishment of the Regional Gas Market Coordination Group (RGMCG) to facilitate the development of the functioning regional gas market in the East Baltic region the countries have committed to jointly cooperate moving towards development of a regional gas market.