Funds Ready For Poland-Slovakia Pipe
Following a three-way agreement signed December 18, European Union funds totalling €107.7mn ($128mn) have now been released for the 165-km Poland-Slovakia gas interconnector. The agreement was signed by the EU's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (Inea), Polish transmission system operator (TSO) Gaz-System and Slovak TSO Eustream. About a third of the line is in Poland and the other 106 km are in Slovakia although the funds are split almost equally, with Eustream receving €55.2mn and Gaz-System €52.5mn.
The project was one of the most generously funded of all 18 projects selected in the European Commission's second 2016 Connecting Europe Facility, which the TSO's ascribed to the line's "great importance" in achieving EU energy policy objectives (Gaz-System) and a "crucial part of the north-south gas interconnections in central, eastern and southeast Europe, contributing to the enhancement of the regional security of supply and integration of the gas markets" (Eustream).
The line will enable gas from the fully operational LNG terminals in Poland and Lithuania as well as new Norwegian gas via the planned Baltic Pipe to flow south, as well as north, through the Slovakia-Hungary Interconnection and the planned Eastring pipeline.
Until recently Poland and Slovakia were both heavily dependent on gas from Russia but they now are able to import pipeline gas from elsewhere and Poland buys LNG as well. Both countries' governments are critics of Gazprom's Nord Stream projects, with Slovakia's grid looking vulnerable when Nord Stream 2 starts up and the Russian giant no longer needs to pay transit fees once its 50bn m³/yr ship-or-pay contract expires.