Poland's first LNG cargo arrives 11 Dec 2015 at its Swinousjcie terminal (Photo credit Polskie LNG)
Poland's first LNG cargo arrives 11 Dec 2015 at its Swinousjcie terminal (Photo credit Polskie LNG)

Poland to Boost LNG Regas Capacity

Polish state-owned transmission system operator Gaz-System has decided to expand the Swinoujscie LNG terminal by increasing its regasification capacity from 5bn m³ to 7.5bn m³/yr, it said April 21, without saying how much it would cost or when it would be completed. 

In an apparent admission that this is not a final investment decision, Gaz-System and its Polskie LNG subsidiary acknowledged they are preparing the start of the tender proceedings for the completion of the front-end engineering and design and obtaining a building permit.

Expanding the terminal will come as a blow to neighbouring Lithuania, which is already looking for ways to market its LNG abroad as falling demand and cheaper pipeline gas have left it with a surplus.

Gaz-System is also mulling whether to develop LNG loading and bunkering for shipping and directly delivering liquefied natural gas to clients with the use of road vehicle and railway logistics. The company might build a second jetty and a third LNG tank. 

"Based on the current technological progress in the LNG sector and the implementation of innovative solutions, Gaz-System will be able to select the optimal path of development of the infrastructure and terminal services. In this way it will fully take advantage of the market potential of the region," said CEO Tomasz Stepien.

Gaz-System is also conducting other strategic projects: the Baltic Pipe within the framework of the Norwegian Corridor; and a concept for a floating storage and regasification vessel (FSRU) in Gdansk on which it made an announcement last month. The company is also conducting a large expansion of the national transmission network. It is planning to add over 2,000 km of gas transmission pipelines.

PGNiG 'happy' with Fitch credit rating

Fitch Ratings agency assigned Poland's largest gas supplier PGNiG a long-term foreign currency issuer default rating of ‘BBB-‘ with stable outlook and a long-term local currency international depository receipt on the same level. PGNiG was also assigned a National Long-Term rating of ‘A(pol)’ with stable outlook, PGNiG said April 21.

It is the first rating for PGNiG and it underscores the incumbent's "strong integrated market position in the Polish gas market, low leverage and adequate liquidity. Sizeable share of regulated gas distribution business in the Group’s EBITDA counterbalances its activities in oil and gas exploration and production business as well as price and volume risk in the gas supply segment, " it said.
 

(Credit: PGNiG)

“The assigned rating is a confirmation of our credibility as well as positive welcome of our strategy which was made public in March,” said CEO Piotr Wozniak (pictured above). “The rating also reflects space for conducting ambitious investment program,” he added.

Poland's treasury ministry is PGNiG's controlling 72.404% shareholder. The treasury wholly-owns Gaz-System, a separate company originally set up by PGNiG.

 

William Powell, Mark Smedley

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