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    Polish official: Baltic Pipe to be put into operation as planned

    The Polish state assets minister has said that the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, which will take gas from Norway to the Danish and Polish markets, will become fully operational on October 1 this year.

    On Wednesday, Russia cut off Poland from its gas supplies, putting the need for alternative energy sources in the spotlight.

    Jacek Sasin told a Polish Radio programme on Thursday that the pipeline should start operating at full capacity next year.

    The Baltic Pipe will create a new gas route from Norway to Denmark and Poland as well as to end-users in neighbouring countries. The pipeline will also be capable of carrying 10 billion cubic metres of gas a year from Poland to Denmark. 

    The project’s investors are Denmark’s Energinet and Polish distributor Gaz System. 

    Sasin also said that Poland had access to alternative sources of gas and added that “recently, the share of Russian gas in Poland’s consumption amounted to 45-46 percent.” 

    “Poland has been long getting ready for this scenario,” he said, adding that in order to be able to receive gas from other sources Poland had launched a number of projects, including reverse gas flows with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.

    Sasin also said that, in early May, Poland would launch an interconnector with Lithuania, which “will make it possible to import gas via the port of Klaipeda,” adding that the Polish gas company PGNiG had already ordered 2 billion cubic metres a year from the port.

    “If we add to this 4-4.5 billion cubic metres of domestic extraction, imports via the Swinoujscie terminal, either from the US or the Persian Gulf, and our gas storage facilities filled to nearly 80 percent, we can be calm about the future,” Sasin said.

    Sasin added that “these gas storage facilities are Poland’s strategic reserve,” and said that the point was now for PGNiG to ensure gas supplies in order not to use this reserve.

    According to Sasin, gas storage facilities in EU countries are 31 percent full on average.

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