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Poland Offloads First LNG at Terminal

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Poland has accepted the inaugural shipment of LNG -- a 210,000 cubic meter load from Qatar -- at its newly minted terminal, an event long overdue after years of delays in getting the project up and running. The shipment is the first of two to be supplied by Qatargas for the so-called cool-down and commissioning period, with the second scheduled for February, Polskie LNG, operator of the terminal in Swinoujscie, said in a statement (LNGI Nov.18'15). Commercial operations are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2016. The delivery takes place over seven years after Poland decided to build the 3.5 billion zloty ($1 billion) terminal, and six years after the 20-year supply contract with Qatargas -- for 1 million metric tons of LNG per year -- was signed (LNGI Oct.22'15). Nevertheless, Polish officials hailed the inaugural LNG shipment as a turning point in the country's efforts to diversify energy supplies away from coal and lignite and as opportunity to enter international gas markets. While congratulating Poland on the inaugural shipment, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Kiev would be interested in buying up to 8 billion cubic meters of gas from Poland in the future. The terminal has a 5 Bcm/year capacity, or one-third of Poland's annual needs, though this can be expanded to 7.5 Bcm, a level operators might try to accomplish by 2018 (LNGI Nov.19'15). Qatargas chief executive Khalid al-Thani, who was present at the Dec. 11 ceremony in Poland, said that the Polish facility is the 17th LNG terminal worldwide to which his company delivers product. Energy Intelligence

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