Polish Gas Demand to Grow by 50% Annually in Next Decade

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Poland’s natural gas demand could grow by as much as 50% annually in the next decade, mainly due to the power generation and heating sectors, gas grid operator Gaz-System said. Peak daily gas demand may even double compared to the demand records set over the last three years, according to a draft of Gaz-System’s national 10-year development plan for 2022-31. Poland, one of Europe’s largest coal consumers, is seeking to clean up its act by consuming more natural gas. It is also embarking on an ambitious diversification project to completely halt Russian gas imports once a key supply contract expires by the end of 2022. Polish gas demand was around 19 billion cubic meters in 2020 year, with the country’s sole LNG importer PGNIG saying it brought in 3.76 Bcm of LNG last year, or about 2.7 million tons (LNGI Feb.4'21). Due to the growing demand for gas, Gaz-System said the development plan is focusing on new investments to help the country diversify its gas supply sources, including pipelines to connect to the new floating LNG terminal in the port of Gdansk (LNGI May8'19). The operator also said in the draft that it is planning to use the Polish section of the Yamal transit pipeline to supply the national gas transmission system from 2026, which it says is needed to distribute the gas from the Baltic Pipe and the country’s LNG terminals. The 10 Bcm/yr Baltic Pipe is expected to bring gas from offshore Norwegian fields by the end of 2022. Poland has one operational LNG terminal in Swinoujscie, which is in the midst of a project to expand its receiving capacity from 5.5 Bcm/yr to 7.5 Bcm/yr, or about 5.4 million tons of LNG. Poland is also working on building two cross-border interconnectors with Lithuania and Slovakia. The launch of the Lithuanian link has been delayed to 2022 (LNGI Dec.16'20). The full draft development plan will be made available for market consultation on Apr. 12. Jaime Concha, Copenhagen

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