Baltic Pipeline Launched

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The Baltic Pipe natural gas pipeline was officially opened on September 27 at a ceremony in Szczecin, Poland. Polish, Norwegian and Danish leaders attended the ceremony for the launch of the gas transmission system, which they hope will end Poland and Europe’s dependency on Russian gas.

The project was initiated by Poland in 2016 following the Crimean War, long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year, which triggered an energy crisis. The approximately 900-kilometer (559-mile) pipeline will transport natural gas from Norway via Denmark and through the Baltic Sea to Poland.

The opening of the Baltic Pipe came after Danish and Swedish authorities identified several gas leaks in the Russian-owned Nord Stream pipelines. This prompted fears of sabotage as the two Nordic countries have now confirmed that the leakage was due to heavy underwater explosions.

“The era of Russian domination in the field of gas is coming to an end, the era that was marked by blackmail, threats and extortion,” Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said. “We must do everything we can to eliminate energy as an instrument of Russian power,” added Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

The investment cost at least €1.6 billion, a sum covered by investors: Polish and Danish distribution operators Gaz-System and Energinet. Additionally, the project was co-financed with EU funds. The Baltic Pipe has been a Project of Common Interest since 2013 and has received around €267 million of EU funding through the Connecting Europe Facility, helping to complete the preparatory studies and construction works necessary for this project, states the European Commission.

The GIPL (Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania) is a gas pipeline between Poland and Lithuania. The pipeline was commissioned and started commercial operation in May 2022. The length of the pipeline is 508 km (316 mi) and the natural gas can flow both directions. The pipeline runs from Jauniūnai natural gas compression station (GCS) in eastern Lithuania to the Hołowczyce GCS station in eastern Poland. The project was imple mented by gas transmission system operators AB Amber Grid (Lithuania) and Gaz-System SA (Poland). The completion of GIPL integrated Lithuania, together with the other two Baltic states and Finland, into the European Union (EU) gas transmission system.