Estonian gas utility Eesti Gaas said it planned to import at least 10 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to Finland and the Baltic States this year, via import terminals in Lithuania and Finland, company spokesperson said.
Estonia and its two Baltic neighbours, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Finland, have stopped importing natural gas from Russia after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last February.
Three LNG cargoes ordered for this year will be delivered to the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda during the winter, including one that already arrived in January, and seven to the port of Inkoo in Finland in the spring and summer.
More LNG tankers could be ordered next winter, the spokesperson, Kersti Tumm told Reuters in an email on Tuesday.
Eesti Gaas said in a statement last week it expects gas demand to rise as European gas prices have come down from record levels last summer.
"Gas price has returned to pre-war price levels, and gas is once again cheaper than, for example, light heating oil or propane," Eesti Gaas Chief Executive Margus Kaasik said.
Last year, Eesti Gaas bought five LNG cargoes, including three from the United States and two from Norway, with all delivered to the Klaipeda terminal, which has been in operations since 2014.
Finland last year agreed to charter a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to serve as an import terminal at the port of Inkoo.
The terminal's operator, Gasgrid, said last Friday a total of seven terminal slots for the second and the third quarter had been reserved by Jan. 9.
The privately owned Eesti Gaas, also known by the name of Elenger, operates in Finland, the Baltic states and Poland.
Over 70% of its energy sales will be to customers outside Estonia in 2023, company spokesperson said. (Reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius Editing by Bernadette Baum)