Poland’s PGNiG gets 40th US LNG cargo as imports continue to rise

Poland’s dominant gas firm PGNiG said it has received the 40th liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivery from the US at the country’s only regasification facility in Swinoujscie.

The 165,000-cbm Energy Innovator, owned by Japan’s MOL and chartered by Tokyo Gas, delivered the cargo to the Swinoujscie facility on January 18.

PGNiG said it bought the cargo of 70,000 tons as part of a spot LNG deal, but it did not provide any additional information regarding this shipment.

Energy Innovator’s AIS data provided by VesselsValue shows that the vessel brought the cargo from the Cove Point facility in Maryland. Tokyo Gas uses this vessel to ship its contracted volumes from the US plant.

Besides marking the 40th US LNG cargo for PGNiG, this is also the 150th shipment to land at the Swinoujscie facility since 2016, according to the Polish firm.

PGNiG is in charge of all the supplies coming to the import terminal operated by Gaz-System. The facility, which is currently undergoing expansion, receives cargoes under PGNiG’s long-term deals with Qatargas and Cheniere, and the spot market.

Out of the 150 shipments, 95 came from Qatar, 40 from the US, 13 from Norway, and one each from Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria, PGNiG said.

LNG imports on the rise

Since the beginning of the operation of the LNG terminal in 2016, PGNiG imported about 17 bcm of naural gas to Poland.

In 2021, the company’s LNG imports amounted to 3.94 bcm after regasification and increased from 3.76 bcm in 2020, it said.

PGNiG said that the LNG carrier that delivered the milestone shipment was one of several dozen that left for Europe from the US terminals at the end of last year.

“In the global market, this was a clear change compared to the previous few months, during which most of the LNG shipments from the USA were directed to Asia, which resulted in the limited availability of gas in Europe, and therefore also increased its prices on European exchanges,” the company said.

Gas market “turmoil”

Paweł Majewski, president of PGNiG’s management board, said, “the turmoil on the gas market did not in any way affect the timeliness of the deliveries contracted by us – we carry out supplies under long-term contracts, as well as spot purchases.”

He said LNG import is one of the pillars of the company’s mission to “ensure energy security for Poland and Poles.”

“The redirection of LNG supplies to Europe again gave the market some breath and hope, although there is still little gas available for purchase on the market. This is one of the examples of factors influencing the gas price on European exchanges that affect gas prices on the Polish Power Exchange,” he said.

“The very information about methane carriers with American gas on their way to Europe contributed to the reduction of gas prices on the Dutch market in those days by several dozen percent,” Majewski added.

US LNG supplies to increase

In September last year, PGNiG finalized a deal to buy more liquefied natural gas from US liquefaction plant developer Venture Global LNG.

Under the deal, the firm will purchase another 2 million mt on a free on board basis for 20 years.

As a result, PGNiG’s contracted volume from Venture Global LNG will increase to 5.5 million mt or 7.4 bcm of gas per year.

Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass and Plaquemines LNG export facilities will supply the volumes while the first shipments should begin in 2023.

Besides this contract, PGNiG also signed a charter deal last year with Norway’s Knutsen for two new 174,000-cbm LNG carriers, boosting the total to four vessels.

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