By MACIEJ MARTEWICZ and PIOTR BUJNICKI
Polands plan to have a LNG terminal ready by mid-2015
to cut its reliance on gas imports from Russia wont be
derailed by a dispute over costs, one of the project
s contractors said.
The terminal at the northwestern port of Swinoujscie,
originally scheduled for completion last June, will allow
Poland to import as much as 5 billion cubic meters of gas by
sea, or about a third of its annual usage. The country now
imports about 10 billion cubic meters from Russia. Its
speeding up development of domestic shale gas deposits and
expanding links to other neighbors to further diversify
supply before its contract with OAO Gazprom expires in 2022.
has suffered cost overruns
since a group of companies led by Italys Saipem SpA,
which also includes Polands PBG SA, won the contract in
2010. Poland agreed to pay 13% more than originally budgeted
last year, bringing the terminals cost to 2.37 billion
zloty ($762 million).
The terminal will be ready by mid-2015, Jacek
Balcer, head of corporate communications at PBG, said by
phone on July 5. Changes in the law have increased construction
costs and were
in talks with the investor to resolve the problem.
The Saipem-led consortium wants to earn more on
the terminal and realizes the government has its back
to the wall on the high-priority project
, Deputy Prime Minister
Janusz Piechocinski said on TVN24 BiS television on July 5.
The Ukraine crisis shows that Europe
must restructure its
gas-supply networks to reduce dependency on Russia, according
to a May 21 speech in Brussels by Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
PBG has no plans to stop work before the facility is
completed, Balcer said. Saipem is undertaking
discussions with our client in a very good climate, as it is
in everybodys interest to complete the terminal within
the agreed schedule, the companys spokesperson
said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg
One of the issues being addressed is the fact that due
to changes in Polish law. the investment will take more time
than it was expected at the beginning and because of that we
will incur higher costs, said the spokesperson, who
declined to be identified, citing the companys policy
Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA, the
state-controlled company that imports almost all gas to
Poland, has signed a 20-year contract with Qatargas to buy
about 1.5 billion cubic meters annually through the terminal,
with the first deliveries scheduled for the end of this year.
The delay has forced PGNiG to enter negotiations with
Qatargas on a new delivery schedule and pricing.
Completing this investment is rational, but giving in
to economic or political blackmail is less so,
Piechocinski said. We need to be exceptionally tough
here, especially because gas from Qatar is more expensive
than the gas we buy from different suppliers.