Poland’s liquefied natural gas terminal increases Europe’s energy security

An EU-funded terminal for unloading and storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and its subsequent conversion to natural gas and delivery to the national supply network, has been built at Świnoujście, on Poland’s Baltic coast. By contributing to diversification of gas supply, the terminal increases energy security in Poland and neighbouring countries irrespective of technical, climatic or political factors, and helps to satisfy a growing demand for gas.

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A map of Poland’s Zachodniopomorskie region.© EU A map of Poland’s Zachodniopomorskie region.© EU

" It must be remembered that this is a project on a European scale. Our intention is to provide access to infrastructure that is already built, as well as to new investments in the Polish transmission system, to our partners across Europe – mainly from the Central European countries, but also from Ukraine. "

Jan Chadam, CEO, Polskie LNG S.A.

Equipment installed under the project includes berths for unloading LNG from carriers, two cryogenic storage tanks and a system for conversion of LNG to natural gas or ‘regasification’. The terminal is also fitted with gas transmission infrastructure and connections linking the shipping terminal with the unloading platforms and the storage tanks with the national gas network.

In addition, the work included the purchase of measuring instruments, control equipment and high-pressure pumps, as well as construction of office buildings and infrastructure such as roads and fencing.

A more competitive energy market

The development is one of the first on-shore LNG terminals in central and eastern Europe. By facilitating the supply of natural gas to Poland from various sources worldwide, it helps to increase competition in Poland’s energy market.

With foundations in the seabed, the unloading facilities can handle carriers with capacity of 120 000-216 000 m³ and have three unloading arms. The truck loading station is designed to handle 95 000 tonnes of LNG a year.

The storage tanks each have a capacity of 160 000 m³. There is space in the storage plant for further development, including installation of a third tank.

Regasification facilities have a capacity of 570 000 normal cubic metres per hour (Nm³/h), enough to supply 36 % of Poland’s current natural gas needs. This is set to increase to 856 000 Nm³/h by 2020. Natural gas-heated submerged combustion vaporisers turn the LNG back into natural gas.

Specialist training for staff

The project has had a positive impact on the skills of the 59 people hired to build the terminal and the 129 employed to operate it. Employees need specialist knowledge and competences and to this end, a training programme has been designed that included courses abroad, internships and post-graduate studies.

Contributions to the development of the West Pomeranian region, where Świnoujście is located, have come through higher tax revenue for regional authorities and the generation of additional purchasing power among local inhabitants. Furthermore, the terminal has increased the region’s potential to attract investment, particularly as regards the possible building of new gas pipelines. Investments linked to the construction of the terminal, such as in new roads, also benefit the local community.

LNG is a fast-growing energy source. It can be transported over long distances and thus contributes to development of Europe’s internal gas market. Compared with other energy sources, it brings environmental benefits in the form of reduced CO2 emissions.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Construction of the liquefied natural gas regasification terminal in Świnoujście – unloading and regasification installation” is EUR 691 000 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 202 022 727 through the “Infrastructure and Environment” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

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