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Update on Balticconnector Pipeline Blast


China on Monday called for an objective, fair and professional investigation into the leak of the Balticconnector gas pipeline, after movement of a Hong Kong registered vessel coincided with the time and place of the pipeline damage, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said, cited by Reuters.

  • According to Chinese authorities, the vessel, Newnew Polar Bear, was sailing normally in the area at the time of the pipeline leak.
  • China and Finland have started communication to cooperate on the investigation, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation said on Friday.
  • "It is understood that the Chinese vessel was normal in the relevant waters at the time of the incident, and no abnormalities were found due to the poor sea conditions at that time," Mao Ning said.
  • Finland’s Detective Superintendent Risto Lohi said last week that the investigation has confirmed that the damage has been caused by an external mechanical force but based on current knowledge there is no reason to believe that the damage has been caused by an explosion.
  • During the investigation, divers have found “a recently formed huge clump of soil containing probably an extremely heavy object,” and plan to investigate it. “The object lies deep down in clay seabed and no conclusion can be reached thus far of its nature,” the Finnish police said last week.
  • Inspections into the leak were scheduled to conclude last week, but bad weather had delayed inspections into this week, Gasgrid said on Friday.
  • The Balticconnector pipline linking Estonia and Finland was taken offline on 8 October and is scheduled to return operational next April at the earliest, Gasgrid said previously.
  • Both Finland’s and Estonia’s gas grid operators said that the shutdown of the pipeline will not have an effect on security of gas supplies this winter.
  • Finland’s Inkoo terminal has offered six regasification slots this winter between early December and end February, Gasgrid said last week.
  • Eesti Gas has purchased an additional LNG cargo from the US for end-November delivery to Finland, the firm said today.

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