Slovakia to get LNG supplies via European terminals

Slovakia plans to import regasified LNG via at least four European terminals, as it looks to slash reliance on Russian gas, according to the country’s Economy Minister Richard Sulik.

The landlocked country is located in Central Europe and its neighbors include Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Slovakia uses about 5 bcm of natural gas per year.

Sulik told a press conference on Friday that Slovakia secured both LNG and Norwegian pipeline supplies to cover around 65 percent of the country’s demand until the end of next year, the economy ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

At the same time, Slovakia would continue to buy Russian pipeline gas supplies, he said.

With these combined flows, the country would fill gas storages by July 10 to secure enough supply for the next winter season.

“I can today announce that we have reduced our dependence on Russian gas from June 1 by 66 percent,” Sulik said.

Regasified LNG would cover about 36 percent of these new supplies.

Croatia, Italy, Belgium, UK, and Poland

Slovakia’s state gas firm SPP would get gas via regasification plants located in Croatia, Italy, Belgium, but also the UK, Sulik said.

SPP would take up to two LNG cargoes per month, he said.

Sulik did not name the sources of the supplies or the exact terminals.

Croatia’s only regasification terminal is the FSRU-based Krk facility, while Belgium has the Fluxys-operated Zeebrugge plant.

Italy currently has three large terminals, namely Snam’s Panigaglia onshore LNG terminal, FSRU Toscana, and the Adriatic LNG terminal. The Adriatic terminal, owned by ExxonMobil, QatarEnergy, and Snam, could be the facility where Slovakia aims to receive some of these LNG supplies.

On the other side, the UK also currently hosts three large LNG import terminals. These include the Dragon LNG and South Hook LNG terminals in the port of Milford Haven, and the Grain LNG terminal.

Besides these countries, Slovakia also plans to import LNG via its neighbor Poland following the completion of a gas interconnector later this year, Sulik said.

Poland’s LNG imports continue to increase via the Swinoujscie facility but the country also plans to install an FSRU in Gdansk Bay.

“Competitive prices”

According to the statement, SPP CEO Richard Prokypcak said during the same press conference that LNG supplies or Norwegian pipeline supplies would not be more expensive then Russian deliveries.

The CEO said the price for Norwegian pipeline gas is “highly competitive” but he did not reveal additional information.

“We do not buy any gas at a higher price than that from Russia, the differences in price are very small,” Sulik said.

US and Qatari LNG supplies

SPP said in a statement on April 29 that it would receive a cargo from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi plant at Croatia’s FSRU-based LNG import terminal on the northern Adriatic island of Krk.

The firm said at that time it would receive 93 million cubic meters and provide 5 million cubic meters to its Czech unit.

This US LNG cargo came to Krk onboard the 162,000-cbm BW Pavilion Leeara earlier this month. The Croatian FSRU mostly receives volumes from US terminals.

Besides the US shipment, Slovakia has also shown interest in LNG supplies from Qatar.

Earlier this year, Slovakia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Ivan Korcok, said that Slovakia would seek ways to import LNG from Qatar.

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