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    Lithuania Breaks Ground on Polish Gas Link


The pipeline will connect the Baltic States and Finland with the rest of the European network.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Premium, Political, Supply/Demand, Infrastructure, Pipelines, Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania (GIPL)

Lithuania Breaks Ground on Polish Gas Link

Lithuania has broken ground on a gas link with Poland, its transmission system operator (TSO) Amber Grid said in a statement on February 12.

The first km of the 165-km Lithuanian section of Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) has been welded into place, Amber said. The operator aims to complete 100 km by the end of this year, ahead of the pipeline's launch in late 2021.

"This project is important not only for Lithuania, therefore we have no time to waste, all our efforts are focused to ensure timely and quality construction of the interconnection," Amber's acting CEO Nemunas Biknius explained.

GIPL, an EU project of common interest, will be the first direct gas link between Poland and Lithuania, connecting the Baltic and Finnish grids with the rest of the European system. Among its benefits, the project will allow the Baltic States and Finland to access gas supplies from Poland's Swinoujscie LNG import terminal. Poland and other central European countries will be able to use Latvia's Incukalns gas storage facility.

The pipeline will be able to carry 2.4bn m3/yr of gas in the direction of  Lithuania and 1.9bn m3/yr in the direction of Poland. Work is yet to begin on its 343-km Polish portion, which is managed by Poland's TSO Gaz-System.

The project's overall cost is around €500mn ($544mn), of which around 266mn is covered by a grant from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility.