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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

New pipeline will end Poland’s need for Russian gas, deprive Moscow of pressure tool: official

13.05.2020 17:00
A new pipeline from Denmark will boost Poland’s energy security and put an end to the country's dependence on Russia for gas, while depriving Moscow of a pressure tool, an official has said.
Piotr Naimski.
Piotr Naimski.Photo: PAP/Tytus Żmijewski

Piotr Naimski, the Polish government's pointman on strategic energy infrastructure, said in a media interview that the new Baltic Pipe gas link, expected to be built by the autumn of 2022, would enable Poland to “have fully diversified sources and routes of natural gas supplies.”

Naimski was speaking in an interview published after Polish gas grid operator Gaz-System this week announced that the Swedish government had given the go-ahead to the construction of the Baltic Pipe, an undersea gas link from Denmark to Poland through Sweden's economic zone.

The Baltic Pipe, which is scheduled for completion by October 1, 2022, is expected to connect the Polish and Danish gas transmission systems and enable Poland to access North Sea gas from Norway amid efforts to diversify supplies.

The pipeline will stretch for 275 kilometres under the Baltic Sea and go ashore at a site called Faxe South in Denmark and at Niechorze-Pogorzelica in northwestern Poland, according to an announcement in 2018.

Once built, the Baltic Pipe will carry 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas to Poland every year, meeting just over half of the country’s current annual demand for gas, Naimski told the Gazeta Polska daily in an interview.

He said that Poland was at the same time expanding a liquefied natural gas terminal in its northwestern port city of Świnoujście.

“By the end of 2021, we will be able to import 7.5 billion cubic metres [of LNG] annually through this terminal,” he added.

“The approximately 10 billion cubic metres of Russian gas that Poland buys every year will be replaced with supplies from the North Sea and in the form of LNG to the gas port in Świnoujście,” Naimski, who serves as Secretary of State for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, told Gazeta Polska.

"This means that one of the last pressure tools that Russia can use in its policy vis-à-vis Poland will be removed," he also said.

Naimski said in February last year that his country would stop buying Russian gas after its long-term supply contract with Russia’s state-owned producer Gazprom expires in 2022.

Polish state-run oil and gas company PGNiG in November told Gazprom it would not renew a long-term deal on Russian gas imports when the contract expires at the end of 2022.

The Polish president said last week that Italian company Saipem had landed a massive deal to build the strategic gas link from Denmark to Poland.

Andrzej Duda said at a televised news conference that Poland's Gaz-System had selected Saipem as the contractor to build the offshore part of the pipeline.

He added that the project, “a milestone on the road to fully diversifying gas supplies” for Poland, was now ready to get under way "in the coming days."

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in April hailed the Baltic Pipe as a "breakthrough project" that would take Poland's energy security to the next level.

The European Commission has said that “the Baltic Pipe project, a new, bi-directional offshore gas interconnection between Poland and Denmark, will be crucial for security of supply and market integration of the region.”

The Polish prime minister said in May last year that his country aimed to wean itself off Russian gas over the next three to four years.

(gs/pk)

Source: energetyka24.com, gazetapolska.pl