A floating storage and regasification unit provider has been named as the company working with Estonia and Finland on a planned new fast-track, FSRU-based terminal designed to free up the countries from their dependency on Russian pipeline gas supplies.

Industry sources said Excelerate Energy has been working with the terminal development partners on the project.

One source said Excelerate has already been selected as the preferred provider, naming the 151,000-cbm FSRU Exemplar (built 2010) as a possible candidate for the business.

Another named Excelerate as bidding for the job.

Elering communications manager Elo Ellermaa said the company cannot release any further information than that already published and cannot comment on the details of the schedule for the project before the contract with the owner of the vessel has been signed.

Excelerate, which was in the process of listing in the US, has previously declined to comment on the reports.

On 4 May, Elering and Gasgrid Finland said they signed a cooperation agreement for the joint lease and management of an FSRU to “ensure the security of gas supply in Estonia and Finland, and to end the need for Russian pipeline gas consumption”.

Taavi Veskimagi, chairman of the management board at Elering, said the agreement clarifies the most important part of the LNG supply chain — the LNG floating terminal.

“Our joint process, including securing of the vessel to the region by the end of the year is progressing as planned,” Veskimagi said.

Gasgrid Finland chief executive Olli Sipila echoed this, praising “the rapid response of the Finnish and Estonian governments to the changed situation”.

Sipila did not respond to questions from TradeWinds.

The two companies plan to site the FSRU on Finland’s south coast, or initially in Estonia if the Finnish infrastructure is not immediately ready, Gasgrid Finland said.

Each company will shoulder the related costs for each country. But Elering said the rental costs of the floating terminal are going to be covered jointly in proportion to their gas consumption.

Gasgrid Finland will take 80% and Elering 20%.

Estonia, which has access to supply from Lithunia’s FSRU-based terminal at Klaipeda, has said it will end Russian gas imports in 12 months. But Finland plans to cut them in months, Gasgrid Finland said.

The two countries are linked by the Balticconnector gas pipeline, which became operational in 2020.

Any open FSRUs or those that have been trading as LNG carriers or used seasonally are being hunted down by European buyers keen to find alternative import solutions so they can shift away from Russian pipeline gas supply.