New 580-kilometer Poland-Lithuania Natural Gas Pipeline Begins Operations

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New 580-kilometer Poland-Lithuania Natural Gas Pipeline Begins Operations

Flags of Poland and Lithuania (© Shuterstock/NINA IMAGES)
Flags of Poland and Lithuania (© Shuterstock/NINA IMAGES)

The 580-kilometers Poland-Lithuania Gas Connector (GIPL), which has been under construction since 2020, began operation on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

The new pipeline infrastructure is set to supply Poland with 2bcm of gas per year, covering up to 10% of the country's yearly gas demand will reach its full gas capacity in October 2022, bolstering Poland's energy security after Russia halted gas supplies to the country late April.

"As planned, gas from Lithuania is flowing to Poland from today. On May 5, another infrastructure will be opened to enable greater transmission. Poland is safe in terms of energy," Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa wrote on Twitter.

According to Nemunas Biknius, the CEO of Lithuania's main gas grid operator, Amber Grid, the pipeline is a milestone in Poland's efforts to become energy independent.

"The GIPL gas pipeline is a milestone in the history of the development of energy independence between Lithuania and Poland. Having the possibility to import and export gas through the interconnector, Lithuania and Poland have increased not only their own energy security but also that of the Baltic States and Finland," Biknius commented.

Poland's efforts to develop and diversify its gas networks allow countries in central Europe to wean off Russian gas. With Slovakia, Poland is building another significant gas pipeline project to enable  Bratislava to import liquefied natural gas from an LNG terminal located in Swinoujscie.

The Czech Republic has also expressed its interest in Polish gas as fears over the disconnection of Russian gas to the country looms.

 Following Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala's request for Poland to help their country become independent of Russia's resources on Friday, April 27, 2022, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pledged that Poland would do whatever it could to help.

Over the next years, Poland plans to open many new pipelines, including the Baltic pipe, which is expected to become operational in October, transporting natural gas from Norway to Poland.

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