The 508-km, 27.5 inch, bi-directional Gas Inter-connector Poland - Lithuania (GIPL) has been completed and partial shipments of gas will be made available on 1 May 2022. The GIPL will integrate the gas systems of the Baltic Sea region into the internal EU gas markets in line with the EC's energy security strategy. Its construction started at the beginning of 2020.
“The GIPL gas interconnection is one of the most important strategic energy projects, the importance of which has grown even more in the context of recent geopolitical events and the war in Ukraine,” Nemunas Biknius, CEO of Amber Grid, the Lithuanian natural gas transmission operator, said. “Since the very beginning of the GIPL project, special attention has been paid to the selection of project contractors, quality assurance of works and equipment, and the timely construction of the pipeline.”
One major issue during the construction process involved the assembling of two 750 m (2,460 ft) long threads of gas transmission systems under Nemunas, the second biggest river in Lithuania, according to Amber Grid. This was resolved by deploying an environmentally sustainable horizontal directional drilling technology. The two 750-meter-long pipes were laid side by side to ensure a secure gas supply.
The project has the status of an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI) for its role in ensuring energy supply security in the region. GIPL obtained co-financing under CEF in the form of a grant for studies (€10 million) and a grant for works (€266 million). The total construction costs of the project are €558 million and the new gas infrastructure is expected to be fully operational later this summer.