First meeting of Eastern Partnership LNG Network takes place in Warsaw
On 20 February 2019, the first meeting of the LNG Group established in 2018 under the Eastern Partnership (Eastern Partnership LNG Network) took place in Warsaw. The group established at the initiative of Poland and supported and financed by the European Commission aims at promoting liquefied natural gas in the Central and Eastern Europe and the European Union’s eastern neighbour states.
The meeting was attended by over 100 people from the EU and Eastern Partnership member states. The Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Szymon Szynkowski aka Sęk, US Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher, Anne-Charlotte Bournoville representing the European Commission and CEOs of Polish gas companies GAZ-SYSTEM and Polskie LNG - Tomasz Stępień and Paweł Jakubowski opened the meeting.
The rapid development of the LNG market we have witnessed over the recent years is changing the global energy landscape. It is of paramount importance that the Eastern Partnership countries can also benefit from this global revolution - said the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Szymon Szynkowski aka Sęk.
Global LNG markets are developing fast, and are expected to expand by further 100 bcm by 2023. The potential behind it is crucial in terms of diversification of supply sources and accessibility to a flexible market. Through continuing working with its international partners, the EU can help facilitating the conditions for a liquid, transparent and flexible global LNG market benefiting both LNG consumers and producers - reckoned Anne-Charlotte Bournoville, Head International Relations and Enlargement, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission.
After the opening session, workshops with representatives of global natural gas companies (including Cheniere, Tellurian, BP, Fluxys) and experts from international organizations (International Energy Agency, Energy Community) were held. During the workshops, participants discussed the development of the LNG market in the world, competitiveness of liquefied natural gas relative to natural gas transmitted via pipelines, and analysed the LNG potential in Eastern Europe.
There is no political independence without an economic independence. Economic independence can be understood in many ways, and one of its specific dimensions is energy independence meaning an access to diversified energy supplies and each county’s freedom to choose the preferred energy carrier and supply route. Thanks to vast LNG import options Central-Eastern Europe and the Eastern Partner countries will benefit from secure, diversified and competitive supplies of gas – said Tomasz Stępień, CEO of GAZ-SYSTEM, in his inaugurated speech.
Such a possibility is provided also by the LNG terminal in Świnoujście. To some extent, already with its existing parameters - said Paweł Jakubowski, CEO of Polskie LNG. Following the LNG Terminal Expansion Program considered a project of particular significance for the country which will contribute not only to the increase of the regasification capacity but also provide new services (such as LNG to rail reloading or fuel bunkering), the Polish terminal will become an important point on the map of natural gas plants in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Eastern Partnership LNG Network initiative was established in Brussels in November 2018, at the initiative of Poland and by the decision of the EU and Eastern Partnership member states. The first meeting was organised by the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and GAZ-SYSTEM and Polskie LNG companies. The next meeting of the Group is planned to take place in May in Lithuania.