WARSAW—Natural gas started flowing to Poland through the new Baltic Pipe pipeline from Norway via the Baltic Sea on the morning of Oct. 1, Polish gas pipeline operator Gaz-System said.
“Promises made over six years ago have been kept,” Gaz-System said, according to a translation of its Oct. 1 statement.
Gas started flowing at 6:10 a.m. on Oct. 1 via the Baltic Pipe pipeline, with nominations—or requests for sending gas through the pipeline—totaled 62.4 million kilowatt-hours (kwh), the company added.
“This is a historic moment and one that we’ve been awaiting for many years,” Anna Moskwa, Poland’s minister for climate and the environment, said in a statement.
The pipeline is at the center of Poland’s long-standing strategy to diversify its gas supplies away from Russia.
Construction of the Baltic Pipe system, which has an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters, resumed in March after a 33-month hiatus over environmental concerns.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February not only forced European countries to rethink their reliance on Russian energy but also added impetus to completing the construction of the Baltic Pipeline linking Poland to Norwegian gas fields.
Construction of the pipeline was completed on Sept. 27, with Polish President Andrzej Duda calling it “one of the most significant days since 1989,” referring to the toppling of communism in the Eastern European country.
“This is a great day. A great day for Poland, for Denmark, Norway, and the entire European Union. It’s a great day for our part of Europe, for building security, peace, and for strengthening our sovereignty,” he said, according to the Office of the President.
Moskwa said in a statement that by diversifying gas supplies, Poland has become “energy secure” and that completion of Baltic Pipe is a symbol of Poland’s “energy sovereignty.”
Russia cut gas supplies to Poland in April when it refused to pay in roubles.
Baltic Pipe was officially inaugurated a day after leaks were detected in the subsea Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia to Europe.
Earlier this week, researchers with seismology agencies in Denmark and Sweden found that the damage to the Nord Stream pipelines was most likely caused by explosions and ruled out the possibility of natural causes.
According to data released by a team of seismologists, the blasts occurred in the vicinity of the location of the pipelines. Both Danish and Swedish seismic agencies picked up the alleged explosions on Sept. 26.
From The Epoch Times