Poland seeks to sign deal on gas link to Norway this year

By bne IntelliNews June 20, 2016

Poland hopes to sign an agreement opening the way for a gas link to Norway by the end of the year, a government official claimed on June 20.

Poland has been pushing the 'Baltic Pipe' project since late last year. Led by state-controlled utility PGNiG, it would offer the country a link to the company’s gas fields in Norway, routed via Denmark, as Warsaw looks to create more alternatives to Russian gas imports.

Poland uses about 16bn cubic metres (cm) of gas each year, with two thirds imported, mostly from Russia. As Warsaw is traditionally wary of Moscow, attempts to reduce purchases from the eastern neighbour are seen as fostering Poland’s national security.

The government proxy for strategic energy infrastructure Piotr Naimski told an LNG market conference that the link, as well as the country's recently opened LNG terminal, put Poland in good position for securing gas supplies after 2022, when the country’s long-term supply contract with Gazprom expires. Warsaw claims it is not keen to renew the contract, but will seek to buy gas from Russia in spot transactions instead.

Naimski also said the government hopes Poland becomes a natural gas hub to transmit gas to other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Poland’s LNG terminal in Swinoujscie received its first commercial cargo on June 20, after six years of construction and tests. The Baltic Pipe could be built in three to four years, the official claimed. 

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