20:45 GMT25 October 2020
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    Poland eyes construction of a natural gas hub which will allow for transporting gas to Ukraine and Southern Europe, said Piotr Naimski, Polish governmental commissioner for energy infrastructure.

    According to the official, Warsaw wants to have at least two new sources of natural gas, in addition to Russia.

    The first is the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Swinoujscie. The second option is natural gas from the Norwegian shelf, which is expected to be delivered to Poland via the Baltic Pipe pipeline from Denmark.

    However, these measures are unlikely to dramatically change the situation and Poland will continue to rely on Russian gas, Sergei Pravosudov, director of the National Energy Institute, said.

    According to the expert, Warsaw’s attempts to find gas that would be cheaper than Russia have not been successful so far.

    "The LNG terminal at Swinoujscie and an agreement on LNG with Qatar were lossmaking. The gas was much more expensive than Russia gas. For a long time, Poland didn’t even buy gas from Qatar. Instead, it paid the forfeit because it was cheaper," Pravosudov told Sputnik Polska.

    Warsaw cannot expect that it could receive a large shipment of cheap gas from anywhere else. LNG is traditionally more expensive that pipeline gas. Poland cannot also expect that some LNG-producing company will start selling gas with discounts.

    "If Poland wants to pay extra money for LNG it can do that. But the question is whether Ukraine will agree to buy expensive gas," the expert pointed out.

    As for pipeline deliveries from Norway Poland is likely to face the same problem, Pravosudov suggested.

    "A pipeline for Norwegian gas has been discussed for nearly 15 years. If the project is funded, which is possible in theory, this gas will not be cheap for Poland," he said.

    The reason is that Norway does not have plans to significantly increase production. Norwegian gas fields are depleting, and a decrease in output is expected.

    "If a pipeline from Norway is built part of Norwegian supplies will go to Poland. But this means that Norwegian supplies to, for example, Germany will decrease, and Berlin will have to buy more gas from alternative suppliers, including Russia," he concluded.


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