The gas interconnector between Poland and Slovakia – a cornerstone of the North-South gas infrastructure corridor – was inaugurated today, ensuring affordable and diversified gas supply for central- and southeastern Europe.
The pipeline will allow the transportation of 4.7 billion cubic metres of gas per year (bcma) towards Slovakia, and 5.7 bcma in the reverse direction, further strengthening domestic and regional supply security. The interconnector will start commercial operation in October.
“The new gas connection built under the Three Seas Initiative connects Poland with completely new gas sources that are independent of Russia,” emphasised Tomasz Stępień, President of the Polish transmission system operator, GAZ-SYSTEM at the inauguration ceremony.
“Through Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, we gain access to LNG terminals in Greece, Turkey, and Croatia, as well as gas deposits located in the Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus,” he underlined.
Rastislav Ňukovič, Director General of the Slovak, TSO EUSTREAM also highlighted that the gas pipeline is a great achievement for the energy security of Central and Eastern Europe and added that its timely completion is an important signal for the upcoming heating season as it opens up new supply opportunities for our markets.
“With this new link, natural gas may flow physically between the Krk LNG terminal in the South and the Świnoujście and Klaipėda terminals in the North,” underlined Szabolcs I. Ferencz, Chairman of the Board at Hungary’s gas transmission system operator, FGSZ. “It is a major development for Hungary as well, as traders on the HU market may thus gain access to new alternative gas sources via the existing pipeline between Hungary and Slovakia,” he added.
The project also contributes to the EU’s overarching goal to decrease its dependence on Russian gas by opening access to new supply sources in Central-Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The North-South gas corridor will also increase the integration and coordination of regional gas markets.
“I would like to congratulate the transmission system operators, Gaz-System and Eustream, as well as the Governments of Poland and Slovakia, for their effective collaboration and for completing the project in challenging circumstances,” commented Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson. “This interconnector will significantly improve the EU’s security of supply and resilience of our energy system, in line with our REPowerEU objectives,” she underlined.
The pipeline, with a total length of approximately 165 km, was on the list of the European Union’s Project of Common Interest (PCI) for years and received more than 100 million euros of EU funding through the Connecting Europe Facility, which represents around 40 per cent of the project costs.