Nabucco West gas loss a boon for Poland?
PR dla Zagranicy
A final decision was confirmed on Friday ruling out the Nabucco West pipeline as a channel bringing gas to Europe from Azerbaijan, as Poland presses on with its own LNG terminal.
The Shah Deniz II Consortium, which controls the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan, has confirmed that it has opted for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will transport the gas from the Turkish border via Greece and Albania to Italy.
The Nabucco West connection, which was backed by the EU and the US, would have brought gas via the Balkans to Baumgarten in Austria.
Nevertheless, the Nabucco West loss could open doors for Poland and its three co-members of the Visegrad Group, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
During the last meeting of the Visegrad Group, earlier this month, the four countries discussed the creation of a common market for gas.
“We are already very advanced in this important and pioneering European enterprise,” Polish prime minister Donald Tusk assured, adding that the Visegrad countries would “certainly provide a very good example for the whole EU.”
Poland meanwhile plans to launch its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Swinoujscie on the Baltic in 2014, initially processing 5 million cubic metres of gas per year.
Using the existing gas connection on the Czech-Polish border, and a planned one on the Polish-Slovakian border, raw materials could be transported to the countries of the Visegrad Group, and from there to other countries in southern Europe.
A diplomatic source told the Polish Polish Press Agency (PAP) that in this regard, the Nabucco West loss may have a silver lining for Poland and Central Europe.
“Firstly, Baumgarten is not in Poland,” the source said, stressing that in the context of the Visegrad Group's plans, “the significance of the LNG terminal in Swinoujscie increases.”