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GAS Norwegian Corridor 11 June, 2018 11:00 am   
COMMENTS: Teresa Wójcik

Consent builds the Northern Gateway

Polish MPs unanimously approved the Terminal Act. 432 MPs present in the Chamber voted to accept the government bill. One MP (non-member) abstained. Such unanimity is an unprecedented exception in parliamentary practice – writes Teresa Wójcik, editor of BiznesAlert.pl.

In a late evening on the 6th of June, in the Sejm, the third reading of the government bill amending the act on investments in the liquefied natural gas regasification terminal in Świnoujście and some other acts took place.

MEPs accepted the bill almost unanimously, irrespective of club/party affiliation. 432 MPs present in the Chamber voted to accept it. One MP (non-member) abstained. Such unanimity is quite a rare exception in parliamentary practice.

The act will allow two large investments

The amended law is of great importance for the Polish energy security – it sounds like a truism, but it is not a truism. The Act is the legal basis for the implementation of two large investment programs of the Northern Gateway, that is, the extension of the LNG terminal to them. Lech Kaczyński in Świnoujście up to 7,5 bcm (in the perspective of up to 10 billion cubic meters per year) and construction of a gas pipeline, which will transport gas from the Norwegian shelf in the North Sea through Denmark and then on the Baltic Sea bottom to Poland. The capacity of the bus is 10 billion cubic meters a year.

Both investments require a thorough reconstruction and extension of the national gas transmission system. The more so because so far this system has been adapted to gas supplies from the East, from Russia. Current changes make it possible to completely abandon this direction. The act – the amendment of the special act, the so-called The Terminal Act – will allow for the efficient implementation of a general strategic task, consisting in creating conditions for diversified access to gas sources for Poland and building such gas transmission routes for independent sources that will guarantee the security of gas supplies.

An businesslike Secretary of State and constructive opposition

Understanding the significance of the matter proposed by the government’s law has just decided on this rare unanimity of deputies. Its origin was due to work at the first reading of the project, which was held at the joint meeting of the Energy and Treasury Committee and the Committee on Environmental Protection, Mineral Resources and Forestry (16 May). The basis for this work was guaranteed by the comprehensive substantive justification of the project by Piotr Naimski, secretary of state in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the government’s plenipotentiary for the strategic infrastructure of the energy infrastructure.

This met with professional involvement in the discussion of the members of both Committees, especially the opposition MPs Andrzej Czerwiński and Krzysztof Gadowski from the PO. On their substantive questions, Deputy Minister Naimski was so convincing that… he convinced the opposition to the government’s project. After finishing the work on the draft amendment to the Act, we had a rare example of consent in the Sejm.



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