17 April 2013 17:14 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Czech gas transmission operator Net4Gas and Polish counterpart Gaz-System are proceeding with a cross-border interconnector project that will open up Austria’s Baumgarten Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) to Poland, Net4Gas said on Wednesday.
“The project is at an early stage of design and routing,” Net4Gas CEO Thomas Kleefuss said, adding that it would need regulatory approval for continuation.
The interconnector pipeline, at a length of 108 kilometres, would enable Polish companies to buy gas from Baumgarten [CEGH] sourced from the planned Nabucco West pipeline that is to bring Azeri gas to the European Union or from any other supply routes that converge on the hub, Kleefuss said.
However, it was unlikely that Czech companies would want to use the interconnector infrastructure to buy Qatari gas that from 2014 is due to arrive in Poland at a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal under construction in Swinoujscie on the Baltic coast, he added.
“LNG [from Swinoujscie] is very unlikely because it is easier and commercially more attractive from Belgium, the Netherlands or Italy,” Kleefuss said.
Market demand would determine the eventual capacity of the interconnector but it would be in the range of 3bn cubic metres to 10bn cbm per year, the CEO said.
The first gas pipeline interconnector between the Czech Republic and Poland, running from the Polish town of Cieszyn to the Czech village of Chotebuz, was opened in September 2011. It has a transfer capacity of 0.5bn cbm/year and was jointly developed by Net4Gas and Gaz-System.
In late March, German energy utility RWE announced it was selling Net4Gas to a consortium made up of German insurer Allianz and Borealis Infrastructure, the investment arm of a Canadian pension fund, for €1.6bn.
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