Orlen: Polish LNG imports continue to rise

Poland’s LNG imports via the Swinoujscie terminal rose almost 6 percent in 2023 compared to the year before, boosted by shipments from the US, according to Orlen.

The Swinoujscie LNG terminal received 62 cargoes or about 4.66 million tonnes of LNG in 2023, Orlen said in a statement.

This compares to 58 LNG carriers or 4.4 million tonnes of LNG in 2022, which marked a record and a rise of 57 percent year-on-year.

The growth of LNG imports in 2022 was possible due to the expansion of Gaz System’s facility in Swinoujscie, where PKN Orlen booked a regasification capacity of 6.2 bcm per year. This is some 1.2 bcm more than before.

Thanks to further investments, the capacity will increase to 8.3 bcm of gas per year in 2024 and Orlen booked all of these volumes as well.

In November 2022, PKN Orlen completed its merger with Poland’s dominant gas firm, PGNiG, which is in charge for all of the LNG supplies coming to the Swinoujscie facility.

The Swinoujscie LNG terminal received its first commercial cargo in June 2016. Prior to that it also received two commissioning LNG cargoes.

Orlen received the 250th cargo at the LNG terminal in September this year, and the 268th cargo on December 28.

The 216,200-cbm Q-Flex LNG carrier, Al Sahla, delivered the last cargo under a long-term contract with QatarEnergy LNG, previously known as Qatargas, Orlen said.

US volumes

US liquefaction and export terminals remain the biggest suppliers of LNG to Poland.

Orlen has contracts with Cheniere and Venture Global LNG. However, the latter has still not declared commercial operations at its Calcasieu Pass facility.

The Polish firm said that 41 ships arrived in 2023 from the US to Swinoujscie as part of long-term and spot purchases.

Qatar was the second-largest supplier with 19 shipments, while one shipment each arrived from Trinidad and Tobago and Equatorial Guinea.

In 2022, 36 deliveries came from the US, and 18 ships arrived from Qatar.

Chartered LNG carriers, expansion

Besides boosting LNG supplies, Orlen is developing its fleet of chartered LNG carriers.

In October 2023, Norway’s Knutsen and Poland’s Orlen named two newbuild LNG carriers at Hyundai Samho’s yard in Mokpo, South Korea. The carriers in question are Saint Barbara and Ignacy Lukasiewicz.

Prior to that, South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries delivered two LNG carriers to Knutsen that are serving Orlen under charter deals.

The LNG carriers are Lech Kaczynski and Grazyna Gesicka.

According to Orlen, these two LNG carriers delivered 8 LNG cargoes to Poland in 2023 with a total volume of over 0.5 million tonnes.

In the future, Polish LNG imports will continue to rise and Poland is expected to get its second facility and the first FSRU-based terminal in 2028.

In August, Orlen booked 6.1 bcm per year of regasification capacity at Gaz-System’s planned FSRU-based LNG import facility in Gdansk.

Oslo-based BW LNG, a unit of Singapore’s BW, and Japan’s MOL have been shortlisted by Gaz-System to provide Poland’s first FSRU as part of the Gdansk LNG import project.

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