Polish Briefing 17 July, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Polish-Chinese nuclear energy agreement. Gas exploitation consortium

Polish-Chinese nuclear energy agreement 

Vice-Minister of Energy Andrzej Piotrowski and his Chinese counterpart Li Fanrong signed a Polish-Chinese agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, reported the Ministry of Energy.

“Currently China uses 36 nuclear reactors and is building another 20. The first nuclear block in China was opened in 1991 and the latest one in January this year. Only three reactors were put into service in the 1990s. The other 33 were opened after 2000. By 2021 the government in Beijing wants to triple the capacity of nuclear power plants to 58 GWe and reach 150 GWe of installed capacity by 2030,” the ministry informed.

New nuclear reactors in China are build to respond to the growing demand for electricity and to meet environmental protection standards. Improved energy security and rational energy price necessary for the country’s dynamic growth play an equally important factor.

Gas exploitation consortium 

Ukraine proposed to its European partners to create a consortium, which would  be responsible for operating the Ukrainian gas transmission system (GTS). On 13 July the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker visited Kiev.

Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, deputy Head of President Poroshenko’s Administration informed that the representatives of the EU supported the idea of the Ukrainian president to hold a conference on this proposition at the beginning of 2018. Its title will be “The potential of Ukraine’s GTS for Europe’s energy security.” The EU representatives also made positive comments about Kiev’s arguments against Nord Stream 2.

“We presented our position on the inadmissibility  of the construction of the politically motivated Nord Stream 2. They took our arguments with understanding, and we will continue our dialogue, because without this agreement this project should not be implemented,” Yeliseyev said live on Ukraine’s Channel 5.

European Parliament deals a blow to Azoty

The European Parliament took another step to limit heavy metals in fertilizers, especially cadmium. Polish MEPs are afraid that the drastic restrictions may lead to the bankruptcy of the phosphorous fertilizers industry in our country. The Azoty Group is the biggest producer of such fertilizers in Poland.

The EP Committee on the Environment adopted an opinion on the EC’s proposal on this matter. Until now the terms of access to the fertilizer market have been only partially harmonized at the EU level. The EC decided to organize the regulations and proposed the so-called fertilizer regulation. Its objective is to create an EU fertilizer market for, among others, organic fertilizers, and to limit contamination of fertilizers.

More importantly, the EC wants to introduce strict limits on cadmium, which is harmful to health. Currently phosphorous fertilizers can contain up to 60 mg of cadmium per kilogram. In three years the limit will be decreased to 40 mg and in 12 to 20 mg. These restrictions are causing the biggest fear among the Polish fertilizer industry and a handful of other Member States, including Spain, Portugal, Romania and Ireland.

Naimski: we’ll have more US gas

“Poland is capable of importing significant volumes of LNG from the United States. The expansion of the LNG terminal is Świnoujście will allow us to do that,” said Piotr Naimski, the Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure

He also pointed that currently PGNiG’s imports ca. 3 bcm of gas annually on the basis of long-term contracts and the terminal will be able to accept 7.5 bcm of gas once it’s expanded. “This is an additional 4 bcm of capacity at the terminal, so we have something to talk about,” Naimski said.

“It is easy to notice that there is space to talk about new contracts. Those may be spot or medium-term agreements. Currently PGNiG is in talks with US companies and there is a significant chance that the outcome will be positive and we will buy the gas,” he added.