Poland expects to receive its first cargo of liquefied natural gas at its new LNG terminal at the end of November or early December, the treasury minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.
The terminal, being built in the Baltic city of Swinoujscie, is Poland’s flagship project to diversify its gas supplies and reduce a dependence on Russia. The terminal had originally been scheduled to open in 2014 but has been delayed several times.
Built at a cost of almost 3.5 billion zlotys ($942 million), the terminal is expected to be ready for full commercial use next May and is likely to reach full capacity by 2018, its operator said last month.
Its construction is to be officially completed on Monday.
“The gas, which will arrive now, will not be burnt … It will be gradually pumped into the distribution system,” treasury minister Andrzej Czerwiski was quoted as saying by state news agency PAP.
“The real, automatic gas distribution will happen in the second quarter of next year,” he added.
Poland consumes nearly 16 billion cubic metres of gas a year, most of which is imported from Russia’s Gazprom via pipeline.
So far only one supply contract has been agreed for the terminal – for Qatargas to supply Poland’s biggest gas distributor PGNiG.
The terminal’s operator, state-owned Polskie LNG, wants to secure more supply contracts to push the terminal to close to its full capacity of 5 billion cubic metres by 2018.
(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Greg Mahlich)