Poland on Friday received its first-ever commercial LNG delivery from the Middle East at its brand new Baltic sea terminal, a key step in easing dependence on Russian gas and becoming a regional distributor.
Poland now relies on Russia for about 40% of its gas, with a third coming from domestic sources and 20% from central Asia.
But as tensions with the Kremlin have flared since its 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, Warsaw believes that easing its energy reliance on Moscow is key to its national security.
The Swinoujscie terminal has an initial annual capacity of five billion cubic metres of natural gas, but this could soon grow to 7.5 billion cubic metres -- or a whopping 50% of Poland's current gas consumption.
Named after Poland's late president Lech Kaczynski, who died in 2010 in a jet crash in Russia, the facility cost €720mn ($809mn).
The facility is a key part of what Warsaw has variously dubbed its "Northern Gateway" or "Northern Corridor" plan to pump expanded LNG deliveries across Central Europe.
Chartered by Qatargas, the massive Al Nuaman LNG tanker arrived at the Swinoujscie terminal on Poland's Baltic coast with supplies for the PGNiG Polish state gas monopoly.
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