Poland to buy spot gas once Gazprom contract ends

  • Market: Natural gas
  • 09/13/21

Poland is preparing to buy gas on the European spot markets when its long-term 10.2bn m³/yr contract with Russian state-controlled Gazprom expires at the end of next year, although it expects most of its supply to come from the newly-built 10bn m³/yr Baltic Pipe pipeline and LNG imports.

"Having the technical ability to import from western Europe, we would be able to buy gas on the spot markets when needed," Piotr Naimski, the Polish government minister responsible for energy security and infrastructure, said.

Naimski reiterated that Poland does not intend to sign another term supply contract with Gazprom once its existing one expires at the end of next year, as the country will be able to replace Gazprom volumes with LNG imports, supplies through the Baltic Pipe and spot import deals.

The Polish minister did not rule out the possibility of the tightness in European gas market persisting by the time the Polish deal with Gazprom expires. Poland's gas supply focus will therefore be imports from Norway through the under-construction Baltic Pipe terminal and imports of LNG through the Swinoujscie terminal as well as the planned floating storage and regasification unit in Gdansk, which will start operating by 2028, Naimski said. Swinoujscie's capacity is scheduled to be expanded at the end of 2022.

Poland expects to start receiving gas through the Baltic Pipe on 1 October 2022, Naimski said — in line with Danish transmission system operator Energinet's expectations, although full capacity will only be available three months later.

Naimski downplayed concerns that some parts of Poland — which given the existing configuration of the gas grid are designed to consume Russian gas — would suffer supply shortages without Gazprom supply. The 4.7bn m³/yr Poland-Slovakia gas interconnector, planned for completion next year, will be able to supply gas to southeast Poland — the part of the country that is the furthest away from the LNG terminal and the Baltic Pipe's entry point to Poland — if needed, he said.


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