Poland chemical firms boosted by proposed gas law change

02 August 2011 17:42  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Polish industrial consumers of gas, including chemical companies, will be allowed to store purchased gas outside Poland under energy law changes supported by the Polish cabinet, the Council of Ministers said on Tuesday.

The move, still to be passed by Parliament, is being prepared in anticipation of market liberalisation that will gradually reduce the dominance of Polish gas monopoly PGNiG, it added.

The storage change, lobbied for by proponents including the Polish Chamber of the Chemical Industry (PIPC) and requested by the European Commission, would permit industrial consumers of gas to store fuel in other EU or European Free Trade Association countries as long as it was to be delivered within 40 days, the Council of Ministers said.

Companies such as chemical makers are currently not legally entitled to buy gas unless they are able to consume it immediately or store it domestically as part of their reserves commitment.

In coming years, the rule change could save the chemical industry significant sums because firms would be able to purchase EU spot gas when prices became attractive and store it, PIPC said.

In line with planned gas market liberalisation, Gaz-System, the state-held gas-transmission pipelines operator, is working on projects to link Poland's gas grid with the gas networks of neighbouring Germany and the Czech Republic.

PIPC has itself proposed a gas interconnector project that would link the Polish grid to a German pipeline near Police in the far northwest of Poland.

Poland currently imports about two-thirds of its gas from Russia.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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