Photo: Gaz-System.

Source: Gaz-System press release

On 26 August this year, a ceremony was held in Strachocina to mark the end of construction of a new gas connection between Poland and Slovakia. The planned start date for commercial operation of this interconnector is October 2022. 

The completed pipeline will enable gas transmission of 5.7 bcm (per year) to Poland and 4.7 bcm (per year) to Slovakia.

With this gas connection, Poland will gain infrastructural access to gas sources located in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Caucasus.  Slovakia will gain access to gas from the Baltic Pipe (Norwegian shelf), the LNG Terminal in Świnoujście, and the LNG Terminal in Klaipėda.

Representatives of the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Slovak Republic were present at the ceremony in Strachocina.

– 2022 marks the completion of the government’s strategy to diversify Poland’s gas supply and become independent from its Russian supplier. This is of particular importance in the context of the war in Ukraine. Poland is one of the few European Union countries to have foreseen the situation of withheld gas supplies from the east and to have prepared for it well in advance. The construction of the Poland – Slovakia gas interconnector, the Baltic Pipe or the connection to Lithuania are proof of this  said Anna Moskwa, the Polish Minister of Climate and Environment.

– Poland’s new gas connection with Slovakia, together with the interconnector with Lithuania commissioned in May and the Baltic Pipe project currently nearing completion, significantly improve the security of gas supply to customers in Poland. With this new infrastructure, both our Slovakian neighbours and we gain access to entirely new gas markets – said Mateusz Berger, Secretary of State.

– Built as part of the Three Seas Initiative, the new gas connection links Poland with completely new gas sources which are independent of Russia. Through Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, we gain access to LNG terminals in Greece, Turkey and Croatia, as well as to gas deposits located in the Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus.  On the occasion of today’s ceremony, I would like to thank the employees of GAZ-SYSTEM, our Slovak partners from EUSTREAM, as well as all institutions, authorities and contractors for their great involvement in the execution of this difficult and complex project – said Tomasz Stępień, President of GAZ-SYSTEM.

– Poland-Slovakia pipeline is a great achievement for CEE energy security. Its timely completion is an important signal before the upcoming heating season, as it opens new possibilities for supplying our markets. I want to thank our employees, contractors, and all domestic and international partners who contributed to this EU project of common interest – said Rastislav Ňukovič, General Director at EUSTREAM.

The commissioning of the Strachocina – State Border gas pipeline marks the completion of a huge project in Poland called the North – South Gas Corridor. This main gas line consists of 15 gas pipelines with a total length of over 860 km, a gas hub in Strachocina and a new compressor station in Kędzierzyn-Koźle. With this, a gaseous fuel transport route was created, leading from the President Lech Kaczyński LNG Terminal and the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline to countries in the south of the region. At the same time, Poland has gained an option for importing gas from the south.

The Poland – Slovakia interconnector is 61.3 km long on the Polish side and 106 km long on the Slovakian side. The gas pipeline route in Poland passes through the territory of three municipalities in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship: Sanok, Bukowsko and Komańcza. The point of connection with the national transmission system is the newly built gas distribution and metering hub in Strachocina, where the three gas pipelines which are part of the North – South Gas Corridor meet. Two in-line shut-off and relief valve stations were designed and built in the villages of Płonna and Nowy Łupków along the gas pipeline route. A fibre optic cable has been laid along the gas pipeline to allow remote monitoring of operating parameters and control automation.

More than 20 trenchless crossings with a total length of nearly 900 metres were made at the intersections of the gas pipeline with road and municipal infrastructure elements and watercourses. An HDD (horizontal directional drilling) was also completed, passing under the Sanoczek river, a voivodship road and a railway route at a depth of approx. 50 m, with a length of 1124 m.

The European Commission granted this investment the “Project of Common Interest” (PCI) status in October 2013 and maintained it in subsequent lists, published every two years. The project has received funding from the European Union under the TEN-E (Trans-European Networks for Energy) and CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) programmes. The funding covered study, design and construction works in Poland and Slovakia. The most important project funding agreements were signed by GAZ-SYSTEM under the Connecting Europe Facility with the EU’s Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) in 2015 for design works amounting to EUR 582,571 thousand and in 2017 for construction works amounting to EUR 45,327 million.