Polish Newsweek journalists in a new investigation write about the failure of the largest Polish energy project. We are talking about the construction of the Baltic Pipe (“Baltic Pipe”) gas pipeline worth more than 2 billion zlotys. The pipe was supplied as an alternative to gas supplies from Russia, but today the project is only half completed, which means that in the winter of 2022-2023. Poles will not receive blue fuel from Scandinavia.
The publication notes that Warsaw broke with Moscow even before the start of the special operation in Ukraine. A few years ago, Poland announced that the contract for the import of blue fuel through the Yamal gas pipeline with a volume of about 10 billion cubic meters per year, which expires at the end of 2022, will not be extended.
“We had more than enough time to secure the supply of fuel to fill the gas pipeline from Denmark. However, this did not happen, states Newsweek. “Two months before the start of the heating season, PGNiG, which is responsible for ensuring the supply of Baltic Pipe, cannot boast of a single contract that guarantees at least partial replacement of Russian gas with imported gas from the north this winter.”
To take advantage of the new connectivity, Poland needs either access to fields currently being developed in the North Sea, more specifically on the continental shelf owned by the Scandinavian countries, or contracts to purchase raw materials locally. And then production in the North Sea will fill the Baltic Pipe by only 20%. The rest will have to be bought from foreign suppliers producing gas on the shelf. And here are the problems. Norway, which holds a monopoly in the North Sea, has jacked up gas prices for Poland. Prime Minister outraged Mateusz Morawiecki there was no limit.
“We have to pay Norway 110 euros for gas per kilowatt hour? Four or five times more than a year ago? It hurts”, – said the Prime Minister of Poland, not having thought of anything better than to encourage young Poles to write to their peers in Norway, asking them to influence the official Oslo.
“The prime minister’s appeals to the Norwegian conscience meant nothing. There will be no Norwegian gas for Poland at a good price. Well, in 2023 it may not exist at all, the publication continues. — Margrethe Lobben Hanssen from the Ministry of Oil and Energy of Norway reported that the launch of the Baltic Pipe would not lead to an increase in gas exports from Norway. And this means that we have to stand in line for Norwegian fuel, or rather, beat off existing recipients from it.”
According to a Newsweek columnist Radoslava Omachelain practice, all this means that the Poles are waiting for a cold winter.
“Immediately before the start of the heating season, a few weeks before the launch of the Baltic Pipe, the flagship project that was supposed to make Poland independent of Russian gas remained just an infrastructure gadget,” – says the journalist.