VILNIUS - Polish pipeline operator Gaz-System says it is keen to build a pipeline to Lithuania, provided the European Union is willing to cover some of the costs, which are estimated at 1 billion zloty (253.8 million euros), reports Warsaw Business Journal. “A pipeline to Lithuania is important, not only from a perspective of the national economy, but also to develop the network in northeastern Poland,” Gaz-System president John Chadam told Rzeczpospolita.
“This will be possible if the project receives funding from the European Union,” he said.
Experts at Gaz System and its Lithuanian counterpart, Lietuvos Dujos, have been performing feasibility studies for such an investment. The documents are expected to be ready in the first half of this year.
Chadam says that the construction of a pipeline would make sense if the line could transmit 2-3 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. When pressed by reporters, Chadam refused to get into specific costs, sticking to his earlier 1 billion zloty estimate. He did add, however, that the EU would have to step up and fund 40 percent of the expenses in order for the project to move ahead.
Still, bullish analysts feel that such a commitment is entirely possible, given that EU President Jose Manuel Barroso officially supported the investment, given that it would give Lithuania partial independence from Russian gas supplies.