This week, the Ministries of Energy, regulators and transmission system operators of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland have agreed on a roadmap establishing a process for further regional integration of the gas market in these countries.
The common regional gas market will be the first unification of such a scale – cross-border unification of gas markets of four countries in the European Union. This will strengthen security of supply in the region, increase market liquidity and boost competition, thereby ensuring affordable gas prices and high quality services for all consumers in these countries.
Market integration is a clear opportunity for the Baltic States and Finland to take advantage of all the benefits of existing and new infrastructure, such as natural gas storage, and interconnections (Balticconnector and Poland – Lithuania interconnection – GIPL).
It is also an opportunity to increase competition in the region by attracting new suppliers and significantly increasing competition.
The process of integration of the regional gas market started in December 2015 at a political level, when the Prime Ministers of the Baltic States approved an action plan for the development of the regional gas market and invited Finland to participate in the process.
The establishment of a single natural gas market of Latvia, Estonia and Finland on 1 January 2020 is considered to be an event unique for Europe and historical for the Latvian natural gas sector. This is the result of long-term cooperation that was rich in challenges among regulatory authorities, natural gas transmission system operators and ministries responsible for the sector of the Baltic countries and Finland. The initial participants of the single market area are Finland, Estonia and Latvia, but there are plans to develop the market providing benefits to all players, and also users, of this market, and other European Union Member State will be urged to join it.
The aim of this agreement is to establish a single regional gas market in Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania in order to improve market liquidity, integration and competition by ensuring affordable gas prices and high quality services, thereby ensuring attractiveness for existing and new market participants.