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Dei/Sole 24 Ore – Finland: Control of Gasum passes to state

The Finnish state has acquired a majority stage in Gasum, the natural gas supply, distribution and sales company, by buying 31% of the shares held by Fortum (another partly state-owned company) and 20% of the German E.ON’s shares. The total cost of the transaction was 510 million euro.

The purchase will increase the state’s stake in the company from 24% to 75%, to be managed by two public companies, Gasonia Oy (with 48.5% of the shares) and National Emergency Supply Agency (26.5%). Russian energy company Gazprom will continue to hold the remaining 25% of Gasum. The Finnish Government does not intend at present to buy Gazprom’s stake but has not ruled out careful consideration of this option if Moscow offers to sell.

Increased security of supply is one goal of the operation, another being increased energy competitiveness for Finland through investment in natural gas, biogas and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Alexander Stubb, the Finnish Prime Minister, recently confirmed that consultations are taking place with Estonia to decide on the site of two LNG terminals, the biggest of which would be built on Finnish territory. The terminals will be linked to a gas pipeline to be built jointly by the two countries. Work on the terminals – which will receive EU funding under the Projects of Common Interest framework – is not expected to start until 2018. Source: infoMercatiEsteri.
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