Energy SECURITY 16 May, 2023 8:00 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: HIMARS in Poland I PL-UKR energy bridge tender I Orlen wants a fleet of gas carriers

Wyrzutnie-HIMARS-w-Polsce-MON-1536×699 HIMARS launchers in Poland. Picture by the Ministry Of National Defence.

What goes in Poland on 16th of May.

Russia’s biggest fear is in Poland. And that’s just the beginning.

M142 HIMARS launchers wreak havoc on the battlefield in Ukraine. The first five sets have already arrived in Poland at the Chopin Airport.

By the end of 2023, the Poles are to receive 20 HIMARS missile launchers known for successfully eliminating Russian troops in Ukraine. They were bought as part of a contract signed in 2019. The 16th Mechanized Division near Russia’s Kalliningrad, which borders north-eastern Poland, is to receive them.

Poland wants to be the technical and training base for the HIMARS launchers, which are to arrive to NATO countries in Europe in droves, as the continent responds to the war in Ukraine by arming itself. “We will have a large force of destruction in a relatively short time and we will strengthen the artillery. The HIMARS Academy will be an important training and service center for countries that have or will have launchers in the future,” said the Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak at the ceremony of receiving the first five machines.

The Ministry of Defense reports that the sets will provide the necessary fire support to the ground forces by performing deep fire strikes.

MoND / Wojciech Jakóbik

Poland-Ukraine energy bridge attracts bidders

Poland’s power grid operator PSE has announced the results of the tender for the transmission capacity of the Rzeszów-Chmielnicki line, aka the energy bridge to Ukraine. It has attracted interest on both sides of the border.

PSE offered transmission capacities of 300 MW to Ukraine and 200 MW to Poland. It awarded them in full to one of the six bidders, which was not disclosed in accordance with the regulations. The capacity was granted for the period from 15 to 31 May.

Poles are already talking about the second Chełm-Równe energy bridge, which PKN Orlen and Synthos are interested in. Conceptual work is underway, and construction could begin after the end of the war with Russia.

Ukrainians may be able to sell energy after the export collapsed in autumn 2022 when Russians launched a massive attack against their energy infrastructure. Currently, air defense and the pace of infrastructure reconstruction have been improved, so the Ukrainians resumed exports to the European Union, including Poland, in the spring.

PSE / Wojciech Jakóbik

PKN Orlen wants to have a fleet of gas carriers by the end of 2025

PKN Orlen plans further investments in LNG transport logistics. By the end of 2025, it will have eight gas carriers in its fleet.

Orlen wants to develop a fleet of gas carriers that will supply liquid gas to Poland. The LNG Terminal in Świnoujście already receives LNG supplies from the United States, including on the Lech Kaczyński ship, which began service in February 2023 and delivered the first cargo to Poland in March. Orlen’s second gas carrier is Grażyna Gęsicka, which is expected to deliver its first LNG cargo in the second half of this year. Each of them can transport about 70 thousand tons of LNG, which corresponds to about 100 million cubic meters of natural gas.

“Orlen wants to continue growing its the fleet of gas carriers. By the end of 2025, the number of units will increase to eight,” wrote Iwona Waksmundzka-Olejniczak, a member of the management board of PKN Orlen, Director of the Central Branch of PGNiG PKN Orlen in a letter read during the 26th GAZTERM conference in Międzyzdroje.

Gas companies allow Polish companies to import liquefied gas from different directions, which will give them flexibility in contracts for the supply of the fuel and increase the country’s energy security. This is an important element of the energy strategy after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russian fossil fuels.

Jędrzej Stachura