Poland completes Baltic section of new gas pipeline

Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland's gas infrastructure operator Gaz-System has completed the construction of the sea-bed section of the Norway-Poland strategic gas pipeline that Warsaw hopes will help the country become independent from Russian gas.

Baltic Pipe, a strategic project which is still under construction and is planned to become operational in late 2022, will be able to pump up to 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas to Poland and up to 3 bcm of the commodity from Poland to Denmark, as well as supplying end-users in neighbouring countries.

"On 18 November this year, the last weld on the gas pipeline connecting the coasts of Denmark and Poland was made," Gaz-System said in its news release on Thursday. "This moment marks the completion of the most important stage of work on the Baltic Pipe project."

"This day brings us significantly closer to achieving the desired secure diversity of supply sources to Poland in 2022," Piotr Naimski, the Polish government's commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure, was quoted as saying in the company's news release.

According to Naimski, the 10 bcm of gas that the new pipeline will be able to deliver to Poland every year is a comparable amount to what the country gets from Gazprom under the current long-term contract, which expires in December 2022.

The Baltic Pipe project has been recognised by the European Commission as a "Project of Common Interest" (PCI) and has received financial support from the European Union totaling EUR 266.8 million.

Polish and Danish gas infrastructure operators Gaz-System and Energinet are the project's two investors.