What goes on in Poland on the 4th of January.
Poland and Ukraine at the head of the group for LNG for the Eastern Partnership countries
During the meeting of the Eastern Partnership states, a joint initiative of Poland and Ukraine to integrate the local LNG markets was presented during the second Energy Panel.
Adrian Kondaszewski from Poland and Evgeny Nimak from Ukraine presented a proposal to create a regional sub-sector network of LNG markets. Kondaszewski referred to talks between European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker and US President Donald Trump about cooperation to increase the supply of liquefied gas from the United States.
Poland and Ukraine proposed the organization of four workshops on LNG in 2019. The first topic would concern the potential of liquefied gas in Eastern Europe, the second – the regulatory side, the third – infrastructure and cross-border trade, the fourth – LNG installations and their daily work.
Kondaszewski proposed the employment of an external consultant, who would assess the potential of LNG in the Eastern Partnership countries, and then take part in the workshop and created a report on this topic.
Earlier, Oleksandr Laktionov from Naftogaz recalled that Ukraine had given up gas imports directly from Gazprom thanks to supplies from the European Union, including Poland, amounting to 14 billion cubic meters. in 2017. He emphasized the prospects of using the LNG on the Dnieper using the national terminal project, which is currently suspended, but also cooperation with Poland and Lithuania, who have their own terminals, and in the future also with Croatia, who wants to build its facility.
Discussion on LNG in Europe
The proposal caused a lively discussion. Armenia’s representatives pointed out that a common strategy should not be imposed on countries that, like this one, do not yet have a national LNG strategy. They warned about the risk of high prices of liquefied gas.
The European Commission underlined the voluntary nature of the Juncker and Trump initiative. In her opinion, member states should themselves assess whether they want to implement recommendations after the workshops. The Secretariat of the Energy Community pointed out that even countries without access to the sea, such as Armenia, can benefit indirectly from LNG, which is why the findings of a consultant indicated by the Eastern Partnership countries may be valuable. Azerbaijan admitted that the topic is not sufficiently researched, although it questioned the workshop schedule. Germany supported the initiative, indicating that they are interested in building LNG terminals. They assessed that it is worth inviting Australia and Canada to talk. Belarus assessed that first a market is needed for LNG, that it would make sense to build infrastructure. Spain suggested that liquefied gas could be a tool for increasing market competition. Lithuania offered to share its experience with the implementation of the LNG project in Klaipeda and invited to include a study visit at the facility there.
At the end of the debate, the parties agreed to support the idea of Poland and Ukraine. It is to be implemented under their leadership. The newly established group for the integration of LNG markets will have a contact point to be managed by Adrian Kondaszewski and Roman Andarak. The inaugural meeting will take place on February 19-20 in Warsaw together with the first workshop.