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Dear market participants,

In order to give more transparency and better the communication on the UMM published today, we write this letter.

Based on the latest information from the contractor to postpone the Puiatu compressor station performance tests by more than a week we have internally reviewed the timeline until the 01.04 and after the analysis it is clear that trial operation period cannot be finalized during March and the timeline set in December is not possible to reach due to the delay caused by contractor.

Trial operation period in Puiatu started 25 January 2021, with estimation to complete planned activities approximately for one month. Based on the initial schedule, it was planned to test different modes of operation during first 2 weeks of trial operation and verify reliability of compressor station operation during rest of trial operation period.

Unfortunately, during the tests numerous design mistakes, equipment failures and improper installation/commissioning issues have appeared due to errorous installment of equipment by contractor. The most critical issues were related to control system malfunction, communication equipment, failures of valve actuators, damage of compressor ant surge valve, gas leakages and vibration of scrubber. Some of these failures have caused critical near-accident situations.

Fortunately, the most critical piece of equipment, compressor unit, has performed without issues. By 01 March 2021, known issues were reported as fixed and contractor re-started testing. During the testing, new issues have appeared, and it turned out that known issues were not repaired completely. 

Until this week only 50% of tests, scheduled initially during 2 first weeks of trial operation, have been reasonably successful.

However even with all the issues listed during trial operation period caused by contractor, until the latest notice the timeline set in December was estimated to be possible as the timeline was still possible to keep and to give compressor into market operation by 01.04.

With yet another delay caused by contractor on our estimated timeline, we see that we would need to change the communication principles used so far. The capacity published after this notification shall reflect the capacity information not considering the Puiatu nor Paldiski compressor station. This approach is set to avoid the estimation of deadline to be set in the capacity value. At this point the delay is estimated to be for little over a week but as the practice has shown that the contractor is not able to keep the deadlines set and is constantly giving information about new delays.

Due to previous experience, finalization of testing is related to high degree of uncertainty – in best case the trial operation period can be finalized during weeks, but if additional damages of equipment appear during the testing, months could be needed to replace or repair the equipment and finalize trial operation. 

In Paldiski it is expected that commissioning and start-up of the station will take at least one month, and after that trial operation could be started. Due to lack of resources on contractors’ side, the progress and start of trial operation is highly dependent on finalization of trial operation in Puiatu. Information related to Paldiski start of trial operation period will be communicated as soon as it can be started.

In order to have more transparency we aim to send to market weekly updates on the compressor station status every Monday at 14:00 via the REMIT reporting via GetBaltic UMM system. At those updated we will try to also bring clarity on the possible commissioning date and when the certainty is sufficient to give a commissioning date we will communicate it right away.

As many questions might arise from this letter and Update we also see it beneficial to have a market webinar at 11.03 at 14:00 EET, link to join here: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MzQ3OGUzOTItZjkzOS00MmU0LWExY2ItMmUzYmM5YTYyMGE3%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2208b28679-e434-42d2-9f9a-7fa1d2c9a18d%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%228515ffa2-c7dc-4282-9d1e-211c8f702fb1%22%7d

With regards,

Veiko Aunapuu

Regional Security Coordination Analyst

veiko.aunapuu@elering.ee

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