Energy 23 June, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Malfunction of the Yamal gas pipeline resolved. EU summit in Brussels

What goes in Poland on 23rd of June.

A defect or negligence in Belarus or Russia caused the worsening of gas quality transmitted via the Yamal pipeline, learned the Polish Press Agency (PAP) from a source close to people responsible for the state’s energy security. The problem was resolved on Friday, 23th of June

“The problem was most probably caused by a technical defect or negligence on the Belarusian or Russian section of the Yamal pipeline, which increased the amount of water in gas. The concentration of water in the gas transmitted via the Yamal pipeline did not meet the safety standards, which allow the gas to enter Polish pipelines without a risk of malfunction,” informed PAP’s source on Wednesday.

The gas, which flows via Yamal from Russia through Belarus and Poland, is delivered to German consumers for whom the gas’s humidity is not a problem because they have a special dryer on their territory. “Polish consumers are currently not able to import gas from Germany, or tap into the country’s reserves,” said PAP’s source.

At the request of PGNiG, the Polish transmission system operator Gaz-System, started to release PGNiG’s gas reserves from the underground storage facility in Mogilno and partially stopped the storage of gas reserves for the 2017/2018 winter season in other storage facilities.

The problem was resolved on 6.00 am Polish time on 23rd of June. PGNiG will look for compensation of losses.

EU summit in Brussels

The European Council meeting has launched. The main points on the agenda include migration, security, defense and economic issues. As part of the summit a short meeting will take place in the EU-27 format to discuss the UK’s exit negotiations.

On the first day, the Council will focus on the problems of EU’s internal security, including issues such as terror crackdown and prevention of radicalization. The leaders will also learn about the progress on strengthening EU cooperation in the area of external security and defense. Additionally, they will discuss EU’s external relations in the context of the current international situation.

On the second day, the Council will concentrate on the widely-understood trade policy and will review the progress of deepening the common market. One of the discussion topics will be digitalization and cooperation in the area of digital technologies. Thanks to Poland’s initiative, on 21 June a group of 17 heads of states issued a letter to the European Council’s President, which supports further development of the common digital market.

EC calls on Poland to introduce regulations on plastic bags

The European Commission has entered the second stage of a procedure against Poland, because the country did not introduce the EU directive whose goal is to limit light plastic shopping bags. The Ministry of Environment wants the new regulations to enter at the end of 2018.

The Ministry told PAP that as part of the EU regulations transposition it was planning “to adopt a variant, which will implement instruments that ensure that by 31 Demeber 2018 light shopping bags made of plastic are not offered for free in retail outlets.”

“It is expected that an additional fee for a light plastic bag made of plastic will be introduced (…), which will be added to the bag’s original price, or will be the basic price for the bag,” the statement continued.

Polish gambling under EU scrutiny

The today’s verdict of the Luxembourg judges may be decisive for determining whether Polish gambling regulations are in line with EU law. On the basis of the amendment to the Act on gambling (Journal of Laws of 2017, Item 88), as of July, the Ministry of Finance will maintain a list of internet web pages, where gambling is illegal.

Webpages owned by entities, which do not have a Polish permit will be included on the registry.

Today the European Court of Justice will determine whether a Member State is allowed to block access to web pages, which offer online gaming on the basis of a permit issued by a different Member State.