16.09.2011

The opening of the Poland - Czech Republic gas pipeline

On 14th of September 2011, the opening ceremony of the gas pipeline interconnector between Poland and the Czech Republic took place in Polish Cieszyn and on the Czech side near Chotébuz village. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Neczas and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Donald Tusk, took part in the ceremony.

The Czech - Polish Interconnector is a joint project of the Polish Gas Transmission Operator GAZ¬SYSTEM S.A. and the Czech Transmission System Operator NET4GAS s.r.o and it constitutes the beginning of the cooperation between the Companies planned for many years to come in the scope of the development of the gas market in Central Europe.
The connection of the natural gas transmission systems of Czech Republic and Poland is an example of the integration of the transmission infrastructure strengthening the security of supply.

"With the start-up of operation of the Poland-Czech Republic gas pipeline we are opening up to a new direction in cooperation in Europe. The Poland-Czech Republic gas pipeline is the connection of the Polish transmission system with the system of the European Union, and at the same time the fulfilment of one of the most important EU priorities - ensuring the unrestricted flow of gas between Member States. The connection performed on the southern border of Poland is an element of the strategy implemented by GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. to increase the integration of the gas markets in Central Europe by building cross-border transmission infrastructure within the so-called North - South Gas Corridor," -Jan Chadam, President of the Management Board of GAZ-SYSTEM S.A., commented.

"Construction of the pipeline contributes to the needed transmission capacity increase, but it is also of strategic importance from the energy security and energy source diversification point of view, " NET4GAS, s.r.o. CEO Thomas Kleefuss said in this context.

 “The construction of this interconnector will allow diversification of supplies, thus improving the energy supply security of Poland. This may, however, "only" be the beginning of a larger expansion and further diversification: The Czech Government has expressed strong support to extend the Nabucco pipeline from the Austrian Baumgarten point to Lanzhot. This would enable Poland to directly access gas supplies from the Caspian and Central Asian regions via the Nabucco pipeline to Lanzhot, through the Czech transit system and onwards via an expanded Czech/Polish interconnector.
The further interconnection with the Europian gas pipeline system should also add value by contributing to the increase of liquidity of gas the markets which is so essential for proper functioning of liberalized and deregulated European gas markets.
In the last consequence the interconnector may contribute to development of low-emission generation capacities so much needed in Poland. Availability of fuel will be an additional stimulus for the energy utilities to invest in flexible gas power stations" - said Filip Thon, President of RWE Polska.

"The full integration of the Community gas market by 2015 requires a wide-scale investment plan for the development of the European transmission infrastructure. The very beginning and important element of this process is the cross-border connection which we are opening today and which we will be jointly developing along with our Czech partner by increasing its capacity in order to satisfy the demands of all the market participants. New connections with the systems of neighbouring states will create the appropriate conditions to build a gas trade platform in Poland which, through cooperation with the platforms already functioning in other European countries, will increase our competitiveness on the Community gas market," Jan Chadam added.

The interconnection project consisted of two parts. The task of GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. was to build a gas pipeline 500 mm in diameter and 22 km long, running from the Polish-Czech border in the Cieszyn region to Skoczów as well as a measurement station in the region of Cieszyn. The construction of gas pipeline on the Polish side of the border was finished in year 2010 whereas metering station was completed in August 2011.

On the Czech side, NET4GAS s.r.o. was responsible for the construction of a gas pipeline running from the Polish-Czech border to the connection point to Czech transmission system in Tranovice, in the cadastral area of Zpupna Lhota - a part of the Chotebuz municipality -.. Just from April to the August 2011 (5 month) needed NET4GAS to construct the Czech part of the Interconnector pipeline - STORK.

On both the Czech and Polish side, the project is EC co-funded from the EEPR program (European Energy Program for Recovery). The Polish part of the project received co-financing in the amount of 10.5 mln EUR, whereas the Czech side was awarded 3.5 mln EUR, which constitutes around 50% of the planned outlays.

The NET4GAS and GAS-SYSTEM also signed in Chotebuz the Interconnection agreement The agreement specifies the technical standards and procedures of metering, information exchange and emergency procedures between operators.
The Poland - Czech Republic interconnector will initially enable the import of gas from a new entry point to the Polish transmission system with a capacity of approx. 0.5 bn m3 annually. However, considering the crucial role that the Poland-Czech connection may have in the process of integration and liberalisation of the gas market in this region of Europe, GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. and NET4GAS s.r.o. will continue to cooperate in the scope of the further development of this connection pursuant to the signed agreement. At present, the Companies are on the stage of defining the scope of works necessary to increase the capacity of the newly opened Poland-Czech Republic connection to approx. 2.5 bn m3/year as well as functionality through ensuring bi-directional gas flow . This will require modernisation actions of the Polish and Czech transmission systems, which are already being prepared.
In the next stage of the development of the the transmission capacities between the systems will be able to be increased above 2.5 bn m3/year. Specification of the scope of necessary actions to be undertaken will constitute the object of analyses jointly conducted by the Companies in 2011 and 2012. GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. and NET4GAS s.r.o. have already submitted, at the beginning of 2011, a joint application to the European Commission for the granting of financial aid for the said analyses. The European Commission has approved this request and thus accepted the premises regarding the significance of developing this connection for the advancement of the integration process of the gas market in Europe.

...

NET4GAS s.r.o. is the Gas Transmission System Operator that ensures access and sufficient capacity to both its domestic and foreign partners, guaranteeing non-discriminatory access to the transmission system.
NET4GAS, s.r.o., is the Czech Republic's exclusive natural gas transmission licence holder. NET4GAS, s.r.o., transports natural gas in the Czech Republic by a system of 3,600 kilometres of pipelines. (2,455 km transit and 1,187 km intrastate pipelines) Natural gas is the most environmentally friendly of all non-renewable sources of energy. Unlike solid fuels, it does not leave ash after burning, nor does it produce hazardous emissions detrimental to the environment.

The Gas Transmission Operator GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. is a strategic company for the Polish economy and energy security of the country. The key task of the Company is the transport of natural gas via the transmission system throughout Poland as well as the development of the gas pipeline network.
The Company manages assets worth in excess of 5 bn PLN comprised mainly of elements of the transmission system, e.g. more than 9.7 thousand km of high pressure pipelines, 15 compressor stations, 56 hubs and 970 exit points. The Company employs over 2,000 people.
GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. is also the owner of the LNG S.A. Company which was appointed to construct the liquefied natural gas terminal (LNG) in Świnoujście.
By 2014, GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. will have built over 1,000 km of new gas transmission pipelines. The most important will be constructed in northwestern and central Poland. The construction of the Gas Compressor Station in Goleniów was completed in spring 2011, and in autumn 2011, the Włocławek - Gdynia gas pipeline and the Gas Compressor Station in Jarosław will be started-up. In 2011, gas pipelines in Lower Silesia will also be developed and the capacity at the Lasów point on the Polish-German border will be increased from 0.9 bn m3 to 1.5 bn m3.

The Poland - Czech Republic interconnector, which was opened on 14 September 2011, will contribute to the development of internal gas transmission systems in Central Europe and their connection with the integrated network, e.g., through the North -South Gas Corridor, which will integrate the LNG terminal in Świnoujście (Poland), through southern Poland and countries in the south of Europe with the Adria LNG terminal in Croatia and with the planned Nabucco gas pipeline.

Contact:
GAZ-SYSTEM S.A.
Małgorzata Polkowska Spokesperson for GAZ-SYSTEM S.A.
tel. +48 22 22-01 546, +48 691-911-217
e-mail: pr@gaz-system.pl
www.gaz-system.pl

NET4GAS, s.r.o.
Milan Repka
External Communication and Spokesman of the NET4GAS s.r.o.
tel. +420 220 225 427, +420 739 537 461
e-mail:milan.repka@net4gas.cz www.net4gas.cz

 

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