Defence Policy

It’s High Time To Discuss Financial Optimization Of The LNG Terminal

As the construction works related to the Polish LNG terminal came to an end, it’s high time to discuss its financial optimization. Within the media sphere, the issue is related only to a special addition to the gas tariff, however, more complex steps may be expected. Among those steps, it is worth to list the loading and unloading services, bunkering the vessels, investment in co-generation and Open Rack Vaporizer (ORV) regasification processes (warming up the gas with the sea water).

When I visited the Świnoujscie LNG terminal, I had a chance to see that the construction works have been finalized, and that the plants of the facility are being prepared for the first gas supplies, coming from Qatar – the system has been cooled down with nitrogen, the boiler room is being launched, along with the SCV burners, used for the regasification process. According to the schedule, the gas terminal is going to become operational on May 31st 2016, after a hand-off protocol is signed. After that, the facility is going to start its commercial activity. Investment will enter a new stages, and new challenges will emerge. The most important issue here is related to financial optimization.

The “socialization of costs” term, referring to the terminal, is currently the talk of the town among the opinion makers. It is a special addition to the gas tariff, which would make it easier to maintain the facility. This was mentioned, in a recent interview for Energetyka by the president of the PGNiG (PGNiG: Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo – literally: Polish Petroleum and Gas Mining – a Polish state-controlled oil and natural gas company) Mariusz Zawisza. In his opinion: “Part of the costs related to maintaining the gas terminal shall be allocated, e.g. it shall be covered by the Operator of the Industrial System”

During my conversation with Jan Chadam, President of the Gaz System company, which took place when I visited the Świnoujście LNG Terminal, we have managed to determine what assets and methods could be used, in order to optimize the terminal financially. The manager I have talked to admitted, that in order to implement above-mentioned measures, the investment would have to be expanded, while the relevant decision pertaining that issue is going to be made in January 2016.

  • At the current stage of the project, numerous companies are interested in the services of handling the LNG delivered to Świnoujście onto smaller LNG tankers (and redistribution of the resource in the Baltic Sea region), or distributing the resource with the use of the tanker trucks,
  • Another interesting option presents itself within the area of bunkering (filling) the ships that are propelled with the LNG fuel
  • Co-generation is yet another area of investment, which is being considered. The heat produced within the LNG terminal is a side product now, however, in the future, there will be an option of using it for the heating systems.
  • Polskie LNG company, managing the terminal, also thinks of sharing the tools used for regasification. By this we mean the SCV burners, which by heating up the gas, burn some of the blue fuel. Investing in an ORV system, which would make it possible to heat up the resource with the sea water, could enable the facility to save some money within the summer season,
  • Socialization may also be enhanced by offering integrated services - receiving the gas supplies in the summer (when the prices are low) and storing the resources until the winter (when the prices go up). However, more storage space would be required in that case.
  • Expansion of the gas terminal within the adjacent markets is the headliner idea. Polskie LNG stresses the fact that the terminal is going to cover the area taken by markets, in case of which the consumption reaches 100 billion cubic meters.

The redistribution system, thanks to the handling capabilities, and the North - South pipeline, connecting Poland and Croatia, may both be quite helpful within that respect. As it has been emphasized by Chadam, companies from Ukraine, Canada and the United States are all interested in the Polish LNG terminal. It is worth noting that future for the Lithuanian Klaipeda terminal seems to be unclear. Maybe once a pipeline between Poland and Lithuania is established, the terminal is going to become irrelevant, while the Polish gas terminal would gain a dominating position in the region.