Slovakia and Poland to investigate feasibility of gas pipeline link.

By bne IntelliNews January 14, 2011
The Slovak gas transit company eustream, a.s. and its Polish peer GAZ-System S.A. signed a letter of intent to investigate the feasibility of possible connection of the gas pipeline systems of the two countries, a press release published on the web site of eustream, a.s. revealed. The two companies plan to create a working group to prepare an analysis of the technical, economical, environmental and the legal aspects of the interconnecting project. The companies intend to ask the European Union for co-financing of the study. The decision on the further development of the project would be made in 2012. Antoine Jourdain, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eustream, said that the project for connecting the Polish and Slovak gas transit systems would contribute to the integration of the European gas network and would improve the security of the Visegrad countries gas supply. Jan Chadam, President of GAZ-System Management Board, commented that the link between the two systems would grant access of the Central European clients to the LNG terminal Swinoujscie and would also support the development of the Polish transit system. GAZ-System plans to build more than 1,000km new pipelines by 2014 boosting the transport volumes. In Dec 2010, eustream, a.s. announced that the gas pipeline link between Slovakia and Hungary should start operations in the beginning of 2013, allowing gas transport in both directions. The project enjoyed strong political support from the two countries and the European Commission. The link is included in the European Economic Recovery Plan and was supported by a EUR 30mn subsidy. Eustream, a.s. is part of gas utility SPP Group, which is majority owned by the state, while management rights are exercised by minority shareholders Ruhrgas and Gaz de France, which together control 49% in the company. GAZ-System is the state-run gas transmission operator of Poland.

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