The first gas carrier from the fleet built for the Orlen Group reached the Terminal in Świnoujście delivering 70,000 tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States. This is enough to cover the average weekly consumption of all households in Poland. By the end of 2025, Orlen will have eight LNG carriers.
The Lech Kaczyński gas carrier
“Securing LNG supplies is not just about contracts, but also about the fleet. Having it at our exclusive disposal, guarantees the stability of gas transportation to Poland, and strengthens the Group’s position on the global LNG market. Our own fleet gives us great flexibility to operate,” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN Orlen.
The Lech Kaczyński gas carrier, which has just begun its service, is the first of its kind in the Orlen Group’s fleet. By the end of 2025, the company will have a total of eight ships. This year another gas carrier, named “Grażyna Gęsicka”, will enter into service. All units will be used to handle both Orlen Group’s long-term LNG contracts from the United States and cargo purchased on the spot market. The Group will use the gas carriers on the basis of long-term charter agreements signed with specialized shipping companies: Knutsen OAS Shipping and Maran Gas Maritime. According to the agreements, the shipowners will be responsible for the manning and technical condition of the vessels. The charter period is 10 years with the possibility of extension. Each unit can carry about 70,000 tonnes of LNG, equivalent to approx 100 million cubic meters of natural gas in a gaseous state. Thanks to their size, the carriers can pick up and supply LNG to terminals that are inaccessible to larger vessels.
Orlen, previously as PGNiG, has been bringing LNG to the terminal in Świnoujście since 2016. So far, 219 cargoes of liquefied natural gas with a volume of approx 17.5 million tonnes have been delivered. The highest number of shipments came from Qatar (116) and the United States (83). Ships also sailed from Norway (13), Nigeria (3), Trinidad and Tobago (3) and Egypt (1). In 2023, Orlen wants to maintain the high efficiency of LNG operations, adjusting the volume of gas imports by sea to the needs of customers and the market situation. Currently, LNG supplies cover a third of Poland’s annual natural gas demand.
LNG Terminal in Świnoujście
The LNG Terminal, owned by Gaz-System, has a commercial regasification capacity of 6.2 billion cubic meters as of 2022. The facility is being expanded to reach a capacity of 8.3 billion cubic meters of gas on an annual basis, which will cover more than 40 percent of the estimated annual demand of Polish consumers. The expansion project is at an advanced stage – assembly works are taking place inside the new tank, and an unloading arm has been mounted on the already finished, in the marine part, overpass on the new quay. To finish the expansion the company needs to, among others, lay down cryogenic pipes on the overpasses. Thanks to the construction of the third tank and the new quay, the terminal will not only acquire greater flexibility in taking in deliveries, but also new functionalities. Today the terminal unloads LNG from large tankers. Next year, it will also be able to unload smaller vessels, but also to load, tranship LNG and bunk ships. There is a growing demand for all these services – driven not only by the geopolitical situation, but also by environmental guidelines on cleaner marine fuels. More than 60 deliveries are planned for 2023. Last year, 58 LNG ships were picked up. A service that is also becoming more popular is the loading of LNG trucks. In February this year a monthly record was set – the terminal loaded 658 vehicles of this type, on a yearly basis, the facility is able to handle more than 7,000.