Clients or Competition?
Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reports that EWE AG, one of the largest energy companies in Germany, is prepared to deliver two billion cubic meters of gas to Poland yearly, providing a lifeline to Polish consumers and industry should disruptions occur if Russia and Poland don't reach a gas-supply agreement in the near term.
However, the publication says that operators seem to be turning down alternative supplies.
Dziennik says that Polish gas monopoly PGNiG SA and pipeline operator Gaz-System, are rejecting the German offer because they do not want to allow a competitor into the market.
The publication quotes Przemysław Wipler, a former director working in the Economy Ministry saying how easy it would be to connect to alternate sources. “From a technical point of view it would be no problem, they just need to lay 30-40 km of pipes which would cost barely zł.120 million. And it would not be particularly costly in terms of time either.” In fact the project study was even ready in 2004.”
PGNiG later released a statement countering the article.
“Incorrect information that the PGNiG SA is not interested in working with company EWE. PGNiG SA is in talks with EWE in the supply of gas to the region Kostrzyn Oder. The gas to be supplied newly built pipeline connecting gas network system EWE Netz and WSG in the area Kostrzyn Oder. The expected date of receipt of natural gas to the fourth quarter of 2013.”
PGNiG SA Spokesperson Joanna Zakrzewska commented that “PGNiG “did not agree with allegations that it blocks competition." "The key to the elimination of monopoly is simply natural gas market deregulation.”
The statement continues that the assertion that PGNiG “wants to maintain a monopoly, is baseless.”