Poland and Denmark have agreed joint investment in the Baltic Pipe Project, a natural gas pipeline to be built under the Baltic sea supplying Poland with Norwegian gas.
The 900-kilometre Baltic Pipe Project, due for completion in October 2022, will pump liquefied natural gas from Norway to Poland through Danish and Swedish territory, boosting cooperation between the two countries and reducing Poland’s reliance on Russian gas. Around two thirds of Poland’s natural gas imports currently originate in Russia, though its current contract with Russian gas provider Gazprom is due to come to an end in 2022.
The Baltic Pipe Project will be overseen by state-owned gas grid operators, Poland’s GAZ-SYSTEM SA and Denmark’s Energinet SOV; and will provide up to 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The project has received €51.4 million from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility, which supports developments in the fields of transport, telecommunications and energy.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said via Twitter: “Today we managed to make a quantum leap towards the security and independence of Poland’s energy sector. An investment decision was made to build the strategic Baltic Pipe gas pipeline that will enable gas to be imported from the Norwegian Shelf via Denmark.”
The Baltic Pipe Project comes as Poland has been endeavouring to reduce its heavy dependence on Russian gas amid international tensions and increasingly widespread criticism of Russia’s foreign policies. Last month Poland signed its second multi-decade deal to import liquefied natural gas from the USA; and Norway and Qatar have been touted as possible gas trade partners.
Tomasz Stępień, President of GAZ-SYSTEM, said: “The project to construct the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline is progressing as planned. We systematically monitor the progress of the works and the implementation of subsequent phases. The conclusion of the Investment decisions by GAZ-SYSTEM and Energinet opens a new chapter in our cooperation.”
Construction on the Baltic Pipe Project is due to begin in 2020.