Vast economic potential of LNG Terminal
The first test tanker with liquified natural gas entered the terminal in Świnoujście in December 2015. This breakthrough event opens up a new era in Polish energy supply policy. Apart from becoming independent of particular gas suppliers, we have gained a series of important opportunities which can boost Poland’s position in Europe.
Świnoujście LNG Terminal is Poland’ strategic investment project launched in 2008. The decision was motivated by the need to increase energy supply security of the country. Russia remains the main natural gas supplier to Poland, raising questions about the certainty of contract fulfillment and stability of prices. This has only been exacerbated by tense relations between Ukraine and Russia and the deteriorating relations between Brussels and Moscow. The launch of Świnoujście Terminal provides Poland with the possibility to purchase gas from suppliers from all over the world. In the future, contracts with U.S., Canadian, African and Asian suppliers are considered.
The introduction of liquified gas on the Polish market calls for the need to develop a network of infrastructure, including warehouses, cross-border transmission lines and gas pipelines. The investment procedures will result in increased gas trade, providing opportunities for domestic consumers. First of all, they will be able to choose between various suppliers. The growing competition will bring prices down, make the market more consumer-oriented, and speed up the development of new technologies.
Poland’s new position
The economic potential of the participation in LNG trade is immense. For our country, this means both the possibility to negotiate more favorable gas prices with international partners and to assume the role of gas supplier. Countries without access to diversified sources of gas, such as Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine, usually rely solely on Russian gas supply. They will be eager to use the opportunity to purchase the resource from another supplier.
In this situation, Poland may guarantee energy supply safety in East and Central Europe. It is a very important and responsible role on an international arena. Benefits from the new role are obvious. Whether they will be leveraged in the best way possible remains to be seen. According to the plans of the Terminal operator, the commercial activity of the port will commence in February 2016.