Step closer to the development of the Polish-Slovak gas interconnector
The President of Energy Regulatory Office issued a decision on cross-border allocation of costs (CBCA) for Poland - Slovakia gas interconnection project.
The main objective of the project is to construct a bi-directional gas interconnector between Poland and Slovakia, which will allow for natural gas flow in the volume of 4.7 bcm/y in the direction Poland-Slovakia and of 5.7 bcm/y in the direction Slovakia - Poland, with a possibility of further extension.
Gas interconnection will be 164 km long. Project envisages expansion of the Polish and Slovak gas systems. In case of Polish section, except for 58-km pipeline connecting two transmission systems, it is envisaged to construct new gas network with a length of 47 km, expand currently operated pipelines with a length of 258 km and construct a gas compressor station.
The expected date of commissioning of particular parts of the project is 2020.
The aim of connecting gas transmission systems of Poland and Slovakia is to ensure diversification of sources and routes as well as stability of natural gas supplies to both countries. Construction of the interconnection between those two systems will enable to transmit gas from new sources.
The main goals of the project are:
- enhancing security of supply by diversification of sources, providers and routes of gas supply;
- increasing the level of competition;
- improving the internal gas market, including enhancing gas markets integration;
- possibility to sale surplus gas, including LNG and gas from unconventional sources;
- access to additional gas storage infrastructure.
The project will contribute to further integration of internal and regional gas markets in the Central and South-Eastern Europe, as well as general flexibility of the region.
In Poland, the entity responsible for implementation of investments included in the investment request, which was submitted to the President of ERO under Article 12 of the Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure, is the Gas Transmission Operator Gaz-System S.A.
The bi-directional interconnector between Poland and Slovakia is the part of the North-South Corridor, initiated by the Visegrad Group. It is aimed at enhancing the security of gas supply in the whole region of Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe. It is assumed that, in particular in case of Poland, the project, which gained the status of Project of Common Interest, will enhance the security of gas supply and gas markets integration by diversification of routes of gas supplies.
The pipeline route will start in the territory of Poland in the existing Strachocina gas node, then it will run through the Sanok district (Podkarpackie province), passing through three municipalities: Sanok, Bukowsko and Komańcza. It will cross the border with Slovakia in the area of Przełęcz Łupkowska (Łupkowska Pass). Then the cross-border pipeline will run through two regions - Prešovský and Košický - to a gas compressor station in Veľké Kapušany.
The President of ERO approved a manner of cross-border allocation of costs incurred by Gaz-System S.A. in connection with the project, considering reducing investment risk related to construction of the interconnector on both sides of the border.
Symetric decision, agreed with the President of ERO, was also issued by Slovak Regulator, in respect to the Slovak gas transmission system operator - Eustream a.s.
The project also envisaged that part of the costs of Gaz-System S.A. related to project implementation will be covered by funds gained from the EU funding instrument Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Issuing of the decision on investment request is a prerequisite to apply, by TSOs, for grants for works under the CEF, what should limit recovering of the costs related to the project by tariffs paid by network users.
In the decision issued by the President of ERO, the joint investment request of Polish and Slovak TSOs for coordinated CBCA decision for Poland-Slovakia gas interconnector as well as for inclusion of these costs in tariffs for transmission services was recognized as justified.
More details can be found in the decision of the President of ERO concerning cross-border allocation of costs for gas interconnection between the Republic of Poland and Slovak Republic (in Polish only).