Starting energy exports from Ukraine to EU countries could partly solve the financial problems of the Ukrainian sector, estimated Artur Lorkowski of the Secretariat of the Energy Community in Katowice on Tuesday. As he said, for Poland it would mean buying energy at a competitive price.
The issue of energy security was raised at one of the panels of the European Economic Congress in Katowice. The government’s plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, assured that Poland was ready to become fully independent from Russia’s gas supply this year. In October, the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline connecting Poland and Norway is scheduled to be launched and the LNG terminal in Świnoujście will be expanded in October.
– The contract with Gazprom expires at the end of this year. If necessary, if such a decision is made, we can stop Russian supplies at any time. We are also ready for the actions of the Russian side, ie possible interruption of deliveries. From this point of view, Poland is in a much better situation than other countries receiving Russian gas, Naimski judged.
The Secretariat of the Energy Community is responsible for energy cooperation between the EU and third countries, including Ukraine. The director of this institution, Artur Lorkowski, noted that the ongoing war could affect regions where Ukraine produces gas for its own needs. These are gas fields around Sumy or Kharkiv. As he said, measures are needed to allow Ukraine to import gas from the EU.
The Ukrainian gas sector also has a problem with financial liquidity, which could make it difficult or impossible to buy gas for the new season and fill the gas storage in Ukraine, Lorkowski said.
He added that financial problems are also affecting the Ukrainian electricity sector. He indicated that starting energy exports from Ukraine to EU countries could partially solve the sector’s financial problems. As he said, this solution is being discussed in the international forum, and it would be possible thanks to the synchronization of the Ukrainian electricity grid with the European system in March.
– Of course, this would be a serious challenge for both domestic distributors and domestic manufacturing companies. Because – if such a decision were made – there would be an influence of quite cheap energy from Ukraine, which today is mainly produced from nuclear generation. This dilemma is faced by Poland and most neighboring EU countries – stated the director of the Secretariat of the Energy Community.
After the network synchronization beyond our eastern border, a potential business partner has been created, which will bring business opportunities and tensions for Poland and provide competitive energy from nuclear power plants, Lorkowski said.
He also recalled that while Ukraine does not directly use Russian gas, it derives revenue from the transit of gas to EU countries.
– If the European Union decides to stop importing gas from Russia in the coming years, the question will arise about the future of the Ukrainian gas sector, which is currently in a conflict of interest, because the Russian gas flowing through Ukraine is a source of income and at the same time a source of war financing – said Lorkowski.
Naimski stressed during the discussion that Poland was trying to identify and introduce support instruments for Ukraine.
– The sudden synchronization of the Ukrainian system with that of continental Europe is a huge success for Ukrainian energy engineers who are able to maintain the stability of the system under war conditions. Maintaining this state of affairs seems to me an important aid to Ukraine, Naimski said.
He said the purchase of energy from Ukraine was “under discussion”. He stressed that “Poland should not systematically become dependent on energy imports”.
Igor Wasilewski, president of PERN, announced that Naftoport in Gdańsk is prepared to process 36 million tons of crude oil. In 2021, 18 million tons were reloaded.
– Of course, these are different types of oil, because our customers, who are refiners, import oil from different directions: be it Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, the United States, Nigeria or Iraq. This shows that when diversified oil comes, you have to be prepared to receive it, he said.
Wasilewski added that PERN has increased its crude oil storage capacity to more than 4 million cubic meters.
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