Polish dependence on Russian energy reduces with Qatar deal
Poland expects to start importing gas from Qatar in 2014, moving away from its dependence to Russia.
Poland has secured the final investments needed to start construction of its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it gave a €75-million, 12-year loan to Polish gas grid operator Gaz-System to begin building the terminal.
The rest of the financing for the total cost of €660 million will come from the European Commission via grants, European Investment Bank and the company’s own revenues.
"What this project really represents is a choice for Poland to receive one third of its gas from a country other than Russia for the first time," EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources Ricardo Puliti said.
He added that this move is part of a strategy meant to ensure the security of energy supply to South-Eastern and Central Europe as a whole. The Baltic Sea facility will give Poland and its land-locked access to the global LNG market.
The terminal will receive oil-indexed gas supplies from Qatar. Two-thirds of its import capacity will be reserved for cargoes imported on a spot basis from elsewhere, potentially opening the door to cheaper energy.
Qatar occupies the top spot as the world's largest single producer of liquefied gas.
It is hoped that supplier diversity will strengthen Poland's negotiating position in a row with Russia's Gazprom over gas prices that are linked to oil. "By raising competition you are in a better position to re-negotiate long-term contracts with all suppliers," Puliti said.