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    Polish Baltic Pipe Secures more EU Funding


The Baltic Pipe Project has been granted another subsidy under the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility Programme, but some see the project as unnecessary.

by: William Powell

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Polish Baltic Pipe Secures more EU Funding

The Baltic Pipe Project has been granted another subsidy under the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility Programme (CEF), Polish transmission system operator Gaz-System said July 17.

The Baltic Pipe, according to Gaz-System, "is a strategic infrastructural project, the purpose of which is to create a new gas supply corridor on the European market. It will enable for the first time in history to transport gas directly from its deposits in Norway to the markets of Denmark and Poland, as well as to customers in the adjacent countries."

It said the European Commission’s proposal to grant financial assistance was approved by member states the day before. Gaz-System said the funds granted showed the importance of the project in view of the goals of the EU energy policy such as strengthening security and competition and integrating gas markets.

However, Poland is already able to land its equity gas from Norway in Germany and ship it to Poland using onshore capacity, and the country already has a terminal for importing LNG, whose capacity is to expand.

According to Wolfgang Peters, of Gas Value Chain consultancy and long-time executive of German utility RWE, Poland has "five distinct sources of supply but can theoretically meet all its demand of some 19bn m³/yr from domestic production and non-Russian import sources alone. Hence, the repeatedly alleged ‘Russian dependency’ is groundless. Nonetheless, it has received public money for new infrastructure, not least an expansion of its LNG terminal and also the so-called ‘Baltic pipe’, which would tie into the existing Norwegian Europipe 2 offshore Denmark."

In a paper published in June, Poland: a failed state in gas trading, Peters says this ignores the achievements of the single European gas market, in that the same result could be achieved for a few cents/MWh by booking entry into the German Gaspool hub at Dornum and exit at Mallnow into the Polish hub. “I cannot help but call this ‘ideological physicality,’” he told NGW in an interview