Poland, Slovakia Execute Gas Interconnection Agreement
The Governments of Poland and Slovakia executed on Friday a cooperation agreement regarding the support of implementation of the Poland-Slovakia interconnection project.
Interconnection of both natural gas transmission systems will be a major element of the regional gas infrastructure expansion under the concept of the European North-South infrastructure corridor. The interconnection will contribute to favourable conditions for the competitive internal gas market in the region, among other by providing both countries with more diversified gas sources and transmission routes as well as security of gas supplies.
The new cross-border pipeline between Poland and Slovakia may provide the Polish market with access to gas supplies from the so-called Southern Corridor, which may carry natural gas from the Caspian Sea through the Baumgarten gas hub or recently build Slovakia-Hungary interconnection and may reinforce the stability of natural gas supplies to Poland.
Slovak entities will have access to gas offered in the Polish market, including LNG from the currently constructed terminal in Świnoujście and gas storages in Poland. The project will also allow to supply LNG and – in future – maybe also to supply gas surplus coming from unconventional sources from Poland to other European countries.
Cooperation regarding this project has been implemented since the beginning of 2009 by GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. and Eustream – a Polish and Slovak transmission system operator.
The Poland-Slovakia interconnection project assumes the construction of a new cross-border pipeline with auxiliary infrastructure, to interconnect Polish and Slovak natural gas transmission systems. The project capacity to Poland: is considered to be of 5.7 billion cubic meters/per annum in the project first stage and to reach even up to 9,5 billion cubic meters/per annum in the second stage. Capacity to Slovakia: is considered to be around 4.7 billion cubic meters/per annum. As estimated by both operators, the project could be completed at the end of 2018, at the earliest.
The analytical works over the aforesaid project have been completed recently. The results of the Business Case Analysis and the Feasibility Study provided information necessary to commence preparatory works (designing issues and permits). Recently both operators have worked over the Cooperation Agreement on the project pre-investment phase.
On 14 October 2013 the European Commission (EC) published the European list of 248 key energy sector projects, including around 100 gas projects. The Poland-Slovakia gas interconnection was assigned a PCI (Project of Common Interest) status under the priority corridor: North-South gas interconnections in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe (‘NSI East Gas’) by virtue of Regulation (EU) no. 347/2013.
On 31 October 2013 GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. and Eustream submitted the so-called investment request, as require under Regulation (EU) no. 347/2013, to the Polish and Slovak regulatory authorities. Recently, the regulatory authorities of particular countries have launched the process of document analysis and consultation, with the participation of the operators.
LNG World News Staff, November 26, 2013; Image: GAZ-SYSTEM