Estonia vulnerable to gas supply disruptions

A European Commission “stress test” report says that if Russia were to completely halt gas imports to the EU, more gas will continue to be delivered to homes and companies – if member states cooperate – even in the case of a prolonged six-month disruption. Estonia, however, is among the most vulnerable EU member states.

The report published on Thursday presents the results of a modeling exercise conducted by 38 European countries, including EU member states and neighboring countries. It analyzes different scenarios, in particular a complete halt of Russian gas imports into the EU for a period of six months.

A prolonged supply disruption would have a substantial impact in the EU, with member states in the East and the Energy Community countries (mostly located in Southeast Europe) being affected the most.

Finland, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia would miss at least 60 percent of the gas they need. This means that even private households could be left out in the cold.

Read more from ERR News

EU says no to joint Estonian-Finnish LNG terminal project

EU has rejected the proposal to finance the development of joint LNG terminal projects proposed by the Estonian company Alexela Energia and Finland’s Gasum Oy, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

The EU did not agree to cover the extra costs that carrying out the project jointly with Gasum would have entailed and this is why the cooperation plan failed.

However, Alexela said it will go on with LNG terminal plan also without EU support , but this means completion of the terminal will be postponed.

Read more from BBN

Estlink 2 will be down for planned maintenance

Estlink 2, the larger of the two undersea cables connecting the Estonian and Finnish power systems, will be down for planned maintenance from October 12 to October 21.

Elering, the electricity grid operator, has announced that in co-operation with the cable supplier Nexans Norway, they have found a solution to the problem that caused disruptions in August and September.

The changing of the current failure-prone joints against more water-resistance ones will be undertaken by four specialist units from Nexans Norway, who will work simultaneously to ensure a minimum period of disruption.

The works are planned in a way that would allow the changing of the joints to be stopped and the connection to be resumed within 24 hours if such need arises.

Repairs are covered by the warranty.

Source: ERR News

Estonia dependent on Russian gas

A study made in the Ministry of Economic Affairs shows that if Gazprom were to stop supplying gas to Estonia, the country would have a gas supply for only five days, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

Read more from BBN

One Estlink cable out of commission

Estlink 2, the larger of the two undersea cables connecting the Estonian and Finnish power systems, went down early on Friday morning. Experts hope to find out why this week.

Elering, the Estonian TSO, announced that preliminary analysis showed that a short-circuit had occurred.

Representatives of Nexans, the cable company, will arrive in Estonia on Wednesday to troubleshoot.

Estlink 1 is still up and running and can carry 342 MW to Estonia and 358 MW to Finland.

Source: ERR News

Tallinn street lights on off- mode

Back in the downturn of last decade, the city of Tallinn started turning off streetlights to save money. Five years later, 25 percent of the city remains dark at night.

Seven thousand of the city’s 55,000 streetlights remain off at all times. And another 7,000 lights in parks, parking garages and less frequented areas are off by midnight, ERR radio reported.

The Kadriorg district, which encompasses largely more gentrified neighborhoods, is cited as a particular problem.

“Kadriorg is completely dark,” said a resident, who identified himself by his first name, Sten.

Another resident, Svea, said she didn’t find lighting lacking city-wide, but added: “But when I think about it as a Kadriorg resident, when you take a walk at night, the lights could be on longer.”

An official with the city’s utilities department, Tarmo Sulg, said he couldn’t promise when the lights would be switched back on, but said the will existed.

“The 2015 budget is being drafted and it’s early to say what will be switched back on and what will not.”

The City of Tallinn said it saves about 1 million euros a year in electricty by using the current mode. The city of Pärnu switched back to normal mode only one year ago, while Tartu never cut back on lights.

Internationally, research has been divided on whether less light translates automatically into more crime.

Source: ERR News

June prices were influenced by cheap electricity

According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in June 2014 was 0.0% compared to May 2014 and –0.4% compared to June of the previous year.

Goods were 0.3% more expensive compared to June 2013 and services were 1.5% cheaper.

Regulated prices of goods and services have risen by 0.7% and non-regulated prices have fallen by 0.7% compared to June of the previous year.

Compared to June 2013, the consumer price index was influenced the most by electricity. In June 2014, the electricity that arrived at homes was 13% cheaper than in June last year, when the price of electricity was record-high. Compared to June of the previous year, 4.1% more expensive alcoholic beverages, 6% more expensive tobacco, 13% cheaper mobile communication services and 7% more expensive dairy products also had a bigger impact on the index. Motor fuel was 0.8% more expensive than in the same month last year. Compared to June 2013, of food products, the prices of processed fruit have increased the most (11%) and the prices of sugar and apples have decreased the most (31% and 23%, respectively).

The last time that the annual change of the consumer price index was below –0.4% was in the period of June 2009 to January 2010, when it ranged from –0.7% to –2.2%.

In June compared to May, the consumer price index was mainly influenced by 1.3% more expensive motor fuel, 10.8% more expensive accommodation services and 0.3% cheaper food (mainly due to the 4% cheaper fresh vegetables). Compared to May, the prices of sweet pepper increased the most (20%) and the prices of Chinese cabbage and tomatoes decreased the most (27% and 26%, respectively).

Change of the consumer price index by commodity groups, June 2014
Commodity group June 2013 –
June 2014, %
May 2014 –
June 2014, %
TOTAL -0.4 0.0
Food and non-alcoholic beverages -0.3 -0.2
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 4.6 -0.6
Clothing and footwear 1.1 -0.4
Housing -3.4 0.4
Household goods 0.3 -0.4
Health 3.1 0.2
Transport -1.2 0.3
Communications -5.7 -0.5
Recreation and culture 1.8 -0.1
Education -14.3 0.5
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 4.9 2.2
Miscellaneous goods and services 1.8 -0.2

Source: Statistics Estonia

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