Poland has opened its first terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), promising to become fully independent from Russian supplies from next year.
The country is a key transit point for Russian gas supplies to western Europe – but Gazprom has plans to expand its undersea pipeline directly to Germany, bypassing eastern European countries.
Opening the facility at Swinoujscie in Poland’s northwest, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said:
“This is a historic moment. Poland has achieved its strategic goal, a very important one. Next year, when we are working at full speed, we will be 100 percent independent from gas supplies from the east.”
The facility is said to be ready for start-up tests, with a first shipment of LNG due from Qatar next month.
But the opposition argues the opening is aimed at voters less than two weeks before the country’s general election.