Piotr Naimski, the Polish government's pointman on strategic energy infrastructure, hailed the EUR 115 million contract as “a milestone on the road to constructing the Baltic Pipe.”
Naimski added that the construction of the Baltic Pipe gas link, which is designed to connect Poland with Norway via Denmark, was proceeding according to schedule, with the completion date set for 2022.
Poland’s annual gas usage is estimated at around 17 billion cubic metres, of which half is imported from Russia’s gas giant Gazprom under a contract expiring in 2022.
Once built, the Baltic Pipe will carry 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas to Poland annually.
In May, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country aimed to wean itself off Russian gas over the next three to four years.
Earlier that month, Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that Poland would push for the planned gas link to be finished by 2022 “in order not to be forced to continue that contract with Gazprom. Simply we do not want to prolong that contract.”
The project to build the Baltic Pipe pipeline is part of Warsaw’s efforts to diversify gas supplies and reduce the country’s energy dependence on Russia.