Poland received its first commercial liquefied natural gas, a milestone in the eastern European’s strategy to eliminate its dependence on Russian supplies.
The Al Nuaman tanker docked at the Swinoujscie terminal on Friday, with 210,000 cubic meters of the chilled fuel, which will be unloaded within 24 hours and pumped into the transmission grid, state-owned pipeline operator Gaz-System SA said in an e-mailed statement. On Saturday, the facility on the Baltic Sea will be officially named after late President Lech Kaczynski, during whose term the project was initiated in 2006.
“The terminal is one of the most important elements of building Poland’s energy independence and diversification of gas supplies,” said Tomasz Pietrasienski, a spokesman for Gaz-System.
Poland, which relies on Russian gas for two-thirds of its needs, will get its second commercial shipment from Norway later this month. The nation has proposed doubling the 3 billion zloty ($760 million) terminal’s initial capacity of 5 billion cubic meters a year, or about a third of annual consumption, and building a pipeline to Norway to completely cut its reliance on Russia.
As commercial LNG supplies begin, Poland is seeking to lower prices under a long-term contract with Gazprom PJSC that expires in 2022. After that, the country has no intention of renewing the deal on current terms and sees Russian imports only as a supplement if beneficial on price terms, Piotr Naimski, Poland’s deputy minister in charge of energy security, said earlier this month.