Poland’s state-run energy company PGNiG has struck a 20-year deal to buy liquified natural gas from the US, as the country pushes to reduce its dependence on imports of Russian gas.
PGNiG said on Wednesday that the contracts signed with subsidiaries of US group Venture Global LNG would provide it with 2m tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year, or 2.7bn cubic meters of natural gas after re-gasification. The deliveries are due to start from 2022.
Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the agreements would boost both the “sovereignty” and the “competitiveness” of Poland’s energy sector.
Poland’s energy ministry, Krzysztof Tchorzewski, said the deal would help Poland diversify its gas supplies. “In the Polish context, this gas is a civilisational good,” he said.
Poland imports almost two thirds of its gas from Russia, but has been working to reduce its dependency on Moscow, which showed in Ukraine that it is willing to use its gas supplies as a geo-political tool. Warsaw’s search for new suppliers chimes in with US president Donald Trump’s goal of boosting the US LNG exports.
Poland has opened an LNG terminal in its Baltic port of Świnoujście, which took its first delivery in 2015, and is expected to make a final decision later this year on whether to build a pipe-line through the Baltic sea to Norwegian gas-fields in order to diversify its energy supplies further.
The terms of the contracts between PNG and Venture Global were not disclosed, but PGNiG’s CEO Piotr Wozniak said that they were better than the terms on which Poland was currently buying gas from Russia. “We are buying 20 per cent cheaper than we have to pay to our eastern supplier,” he said.
Mr Wozniak added that PGNiG would have the right to decide whether or not to send the LNG to Poland, or trade it via its London office. Venture Global’s co-chief executive, Mike Sabel, said that the new deal would allow Poland to develop its position as an energy hub in central Europe.
Get alerts on Energy sector when a new story is published