As European gas prices soared following Russia deciding to cut gas to Poland, Poland is moving forward with efforts to secure its energy independence with the Polish-Lithuanian gas pipeline.
“As according to plan, from today gas from Lithuania is coming to Poland,” tweeted Anna Moskwa, Poland’s minister for climate and environment. The gas pipeline is just over 500 kilometers long and will be working at full capacity in October of this year.
The activation of the Gas Interconnection Poland Lithuania (GIPL) was also confirmed by its operator Ambergrid, which announced: “This step increases the energy independence of the regions and enables the use of the LNG terminal in Klaipeda in Lithuania.”
The gas can be sent in either direction through the GIPL interconnector, and represents a milestone in the process of making both Lithuania and Poland independent of Russian gas through a process of diversification of supplies. The interconnector will also add to the energy security of all the Baltic states and Finland.
A ceremony officially opening the interconnector will take place on Thursday, May 5, in the presence of the presidents of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, along with energy ministers and the European Commission energy commissioner.
In just a few months time, in October, the Baltic Pipe, a pipeline linking Poland and Denmark that will provide Poland with access to Norwegian gas, will be activated.
The GIPL, the Baltic Pipe and increased imports of liquified natural gas from countries like the United States are all geared to securing Poland’s energy supplies. The Polish government says that these efforts are designed to stop Russia’s gas energy blackmail, as witnessed by Gazprom cutting gas to Poland when it refused to pay for the gas in rubles.