WARSAW, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The operator of Poland’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Wednesday tendered for a contractor to oversee a 50 percent expansion in its capacity by 2021.
“The demand for natural gas in central and eastern Europe has increased. This is why we see the need to expand the terminal,” Pawel Jakubowski, chief executive of operator Polskie LNG, told a news conference.
Annual capacity at the terminal at Swinoujscie on the Baltic Sea is to be expanded to 7.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) from 5 bcm and will be able to cover around half of Poland’s domestic gas consumption.
The terminal is used by state-run energy firm PGNiG, which currently uses almost all of its capacity.
Jakubowski declined to provide details on the costs of the expansion.
Poland opened the terminal in 2016 as part of plans to reduce its reliance on imported Russian gas which at the time accounted for more than half of Poland’s consumption.
Italy’s Saipem led a consortium which built the terminal.
Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Jason Neely