Polish Oil and Gas Company PGNiG has completed the construction of cluster B in the Kosakowo Cavern Underground Gas Storage Facility. This is an investment of fundamental importance to our country’s energy security.
“The completion of the second stage of the project in Kosakowo marks the culmination of the PGNiG programme for the development of storage capacity. Within ten years we have doubled the capacity to accumulate gas reserves in Poland. Apart from providing diversification, it is the main pillar of our country’s gas security,” said Paweł Majewski, President of the Management Board of PGNiG SA, during the ceremonial completion of Cluster B of the Kosakowo Cavern Underground Gas Storage Facility in Dębogórze in the Puck district.
Cluster B consists of five storage chambers totalling 154.3 million cubic metres. Started in 2016, the project progressed in stages – the first three chambers were commissioned in 2019, and now the construction of the two remaining chambers, with a capacity of 60.3 million cubic metres, has been completed. Earlier, Cluster A, also consisting of five chambers, with a total capacity of 145.5 million cubic metres, was put into service. That part of the project was completed between 2011 and 2016.
PGNiG has seven underground storage facilities for natural gas. As the Kosakowo project draws to a close, the total active capacity of PGNiG’s storage facilities will increase from 3174.8 million cubic metres to 3235.1 million cubic metres.
Underground gas storage facilities play an important role as stabilisers of the transmission system and serve to accumulate fuel reserves in times of peak demand during the heating season. Paweł Majewski emphasised that the storage facilities owned by PGNiG are currently 97 per cent full, which is the same level as in previous years at the beginning of autumn. This is a crucial difference in relation to many other European countries, where no reserves were accumulated in the summer period. On average, European gas inventories are only 77 per cent full, which is much less than in the corresponding period in the previous years, when the same figure stood at around 95 per cent. Low fuel reserves at the beginning of the heating season is one of the main reasons for very high natural gas prices in Europe, including in Poland.
Although the underground gas storage facilities are owned by PGNiG, they are managed by Gas Storage Poland of the PGNiG Capital Group. A member of that company’s Management Board, Beata Wittmann, emphasised that the Kosakowo Underground Gas Storage Facility is one of the most cutting-edge sections gas infrastructure in Poland.
The Kosakowo facility has a high capacity for injecting and releasing fuel into the grid – 2.4 million cubic metres and 9.6 million cubic metres of natural gas per day respectively. This high operating flexibility is of key importance in the case of potential crisis situations, such as sudden gas shortages in the transmission network due to supply interruptions,” explained Beata Wittmann, Member of the Management Board of Gas Storage Poland.
Gas Storage Poland has the status of a storage system operator and pursuant to the applicable laws makes storage capacities available to all interested entities in a non-discriminatory manner under equivalent contractual terms and conditions.