GAS INTERCONNECTION POLAND–LITHUANIA (GIPL)


This is a natural gas infrastructure that will connect Polish and Lithuanian as well as Baltic and Finnish natural gas transmission systems with the European Union ( EU) system. Natural gas will be transmitted in both directions. The GIPL gas pipeline will run from Jauniūnai Gas Compressor Station (GCS) in Širvintos district to the Hołowczyce GCS on the Polish side. It is planned that the connection between Poland and Lithuania will be established until the end of 2021. GIPL project has been recognised by the European Commission as a Project of Common Interest (PCI).

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Investments

The preliminary GIPL project value is EUR 500 million. Investments to infrastructure in the territory of Lithuania will amount to EUR 136 million. EU financial assistance has been provided to prepare Business Case Analysis and  Feasibility Study as well as the preparation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report of the GIPL Project under the European Commission's Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) program, which made 50% of eligible costs. Following the European Commission's decision of 2014, up to EUR 10.6 million was allocated for preparatory works of the GIPL project and up to EUR 295.4 million for construction works under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). In addition to EU financial support, the construction of the GIPL project will be funded by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by a cross-border cost allocation decision covering part of the GIPL infrastructure costs in the territory of Poland - a total of EUR 54.9 million. The rest of the project is funded by the project promoters.

Benefits of the Project

Will integrate gas markets of the Baltic States and Finland into a common EU gas market

Will diversify access to alternative gas supply sources, routes, counterparties and increase of competition

Will increase security and reliability of gas supply – both in terms of additional interconnection capacity and possibility to apply solidarity measures between Member States

Will enable more flexible and efficient use of LNG terminals and transmission infrastructure in Poland and Lithuania

Will enhance liquidity both in Polish and Baltic gas areas and strengthen their regional role

News

Construction of the gas pipeline under the Neris completed smoothly in the gas interconnection project with Poland


The complex horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under the Neris River that is part of the Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania (GIPL) project being implemented by Amber Grid has been successfully completed. In order to reduce environmental impact, a section of the gas pipeline has been drawn along the bottom of the river at a depth of 20 metres, and will be connected to the already laid pipeline. Construction of the gas pipeline in Širvintos District and part of Elektrėnai Municipality is nearing completion. 

The complex horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under the Neris River that is part of the Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania (GIPL) project being implemented by Amber Grid has been successfully completed. In order to reduce environmental impact, a section of the gas pipeline has been drawn along the bottom of the river at a depth of 20 metres, and will be connected to the already laid pipeline. Construction of the gas pipeline in Širvintos District and part of Elektrėnai Municipality is nearing completion.
 
The team of highly qualified specialists from the German company LMR Drilling hired to lay the gas pipeline in the rivers will soon be moving their equipment for the next stage – HDD under the Nemunas, near Punia in Alytus District Municipality. Drilling at this location will last until August. 
“Construction of the gas pipeline is progressing faster than planned; we have secured project funding, and implementation of the complex HDD stage allows us to hope that laying the pipeline under Lithuania’s largest river will go just as smoothly,” says Amber Grid CEO Nemunas Biknius.
HDD technology is used to lay pipelines in hard-to-reach or urbanised areas. By drilling the gas pipeline under the Neris – and then under the Nemunas as well – the riverside forest areas will remain intact, the aquatic plants and animals will not be lost, and the natural environment will be preserved without harming it.
 
The gas interconnection, which will link the Baltic States and Finland to the single EU gas market, will be completed by the end of 2021. Two-thirds of the construction work is planned to be completed this year. Since January, when construction of the gas pipeline began, 117 km of steel pipes have been delivered from Poland, 88 km have been welded, and 27 km of pipeline have been laid in the trench. In Lithuania, the gas interconnection is being laid through nine municipalities: Širvintos, Vilnius District, Elektrėnai, Kaišiadorys, Prienai, Birštonas, Alytus District, Marijampolė and Lazdijai.
 
In order to check the quality of the pipeline, all of the weld seams undergo radiographic testing and thorough examination before being placed in the trench. Then, once the gas pipeline is buried, a hydraulic test is performed to ensure that the pipeline is properly installed.
 
The GIPL will make it possible to transport up to 27 TWh of gas per year to the Baltic States, and up to 21 TWh per year to Poland. Once this project is completed, the Baltic gas markets will become part of the single EU gas market.
 
 
 
 

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European loan for gas interconnection project between Poland and Lithuania


The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €65 million loan agreement with Lithuanian gas transmission system operator AB Amber Grid to finance the construction of the Lithuanian section of the planned gas interconnection between Poland and Lithuania.

The EIB has signed a €65 million loan agreement with Amber Grid to support the Poland–Lithuania gas interconnector. 
The operation concerns an EU Project of Common Interest as it integrates the Baltic States and Finland into the wider EU gas market.
The interconnector will diversify gas supply sources and increase security and reliability of supply for Lithuania and the region.
 
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €65 million loan agreement with Lithuanian gas transmission system operator AB Amber Grid to finance the construction of the Lithuanian section of the planned gas interconnection between Poland and Lithuania. The interconnector will be the first high-pressure gas pipeline between Poland and Lithuania, integrating the Baltic States and Finland into the wider EU gas market and diversifying gas supply sources. The project will also increase security and reliability of gas supplies for the local and regional market.
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros remarked: “Security of energy supply is a recurring theme in the EIB’s investments in the Baltic States. This interconnection with Poland is a key step in the real integration of the European energy market, as it will allow all of the Baltic States and Finland to fully connect to European gas networks.”
On a technical level, the project will see the construction of a 700 mm diameter, 165 km long high-pressure bi-directional underground gas transmission pipeline, with a maximum potential capacity of 2.4 bcm/y (27 TWh/y), running from the border with Poland in the Lazdijai District to the Jauniūnai compressor station located in the Širvintos District, north of Vilnius.
CEO of Amber Grid Nemunas Biknius added: “The favourable terms of the loan clearly indicate the EIB’s recognition of our commitment to the timely implementation of the GIPL project, which will create long-term value for the region’s gas market integration, benefiting consumers and gas market operators across the borders.”
In terms of regional connections, the EIB previously financed the electricity interconnector between Poland and Lithuania, known as the LitPol Link.
 

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Progress

Following the Construction Contract which entered into force on 30/12/2019, the construction of the GIPL gas interconnection began immediately. We invite you to get acquainted with the progress of this construction work.

JANUARY

On 02/01/2020, the beginning of the construction work was announced. The pipelines' route was marked, a searched for explosives in the pipeline construction area began, archaeological exploration and other works necessary for the start of construction began. For more information.
 
On 13/01/2020, steel pipes from Poland started to be transported to the construction site. For more information.
 
During January:
  • Marked 80 km of pipeline’s route.
  • Transported 14 km of pipes.
  • 5 km of pipes were put along the pipeline’s route.
  • 1 km of pipes were welded.
  • Orders were placed for foreign manufacturers to produce taps, the launching and receiving chambers for the monitoring device and other materials required for the pipeline construction that need more time to manufacture.
FEBRUARY 
 
During the first six weeks of the GIPL gas pipeline construction works, the first kilometres of the pipeline route were welded into filaments. More information.
 
Amber Grid has paid out about EUR 1.3 million in compensation to land owners for GIPL gas pipeline route which will run through the plots of land owned by them. More information
 
The results of the tender for the construction works of the GIPL gas pipeline, in which a pipeline construction company Alvora was the successful tenderer, remain unchanged. A part of the legal action of a company MT Group, who lost the tender for the construction works, whereby the company requested to declare the decision of the Procurement Commission of Amber Grid on the successful tenderer of the tender for the construction works as unlawful, was rejected by the court. More information
 
From the beginning of the works in January to the end of February:
  • 102 km of the route were marked
  • 44 km of pipes were delivered 
  • 28 km of pipes were laid along the route
  • 18 km of piping were welded into filaments
  • 9 km long forest stretch in the GIPL route was cut down 
  • 6.3 km of the welds of the welded gas pipeline were X-rayed. 
 
MARCH
 
After the announcement of the quarantine in Lithuania for the threat of spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the GIPL gas pipeline connection project is being implemented without disruption. Active work with contractors allowed ensuring stable work in all teams. The project is progressing faster than planned – by the end of March, 12% of the entire pipeline construction works were completed. 
 
The planned archaeological research began in parallel with the construction of GIPL gas connection. The historical heritage that has survived into the present day will be explored throughout the territory of 165 km long pipeline route. More information
 
On the occasion of March 11, of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania's independence, the Lithuanian tricolour flag with an area of 300 square meters was raised above the gas connection with Western Europe. More information
 
From the beginning of the works in January to the end of March:
  • 68 km of steel pipes were delivered to Lithuania 
  • 54 km of pipes were laid along the route
  • 44 km of piping were welded into filaments
  • 19 km long forest stretch in the GIPL route was cut down
  • 22 km of the welds of the welded gas pipeline were X-rayed
  • 5 km of the route were surveyed for explosives
  • archaeological explorations and detailed research are carried out. 
APRIL
 
In April, the quarantine that is in force in Lithuania due to COVID-19 virus pandemic and operating restrictions did not affect the construction of GIPL gas connection between Lithuania and Poland. Works are progressing as planned and even faster. As planned, the connection will be finished by the end of 2021, and two-thirds of construction works are scheduled to be completed this year. More information
 
The lowering of the welded and inspected parts of piping into the excavated trenches has been started. 
 
The preparation for the most complicated works in this year - horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under the river Neris - is nearing the end.
 
The German partners are scheduled to start work in June. At Kernavė on one side of the river Neris and at Kazokiškės on its other side, work sites are already ready, works of welding of a special pipe, that will be pushed across under the bottom of the river Neris at a depth of 20 meters are nearing the end.
 
From the beginning of the works in January to the end of April:
  • 85 km of pipes were delivered 
  • 71 km of pipes were laid along the route
  • 64 km of piping were welded into filaments
  • trenches were excavated and 6 km of piping were laid
  • 50 km of the welds of the welded gas pipeline were X-rayed
  • archaeological explorations and detailed research were carried out.
MAY
 
The implementation of the GIPL interconnection project is progressing faster than planned. Already implemented 23 percent. of the GIPL project. By the end of May, more than 100 km of steel pipes from 165 km had been delivered to Lithuania.
 
At the request of Amber Grid, the Government granted permission to foreign specialists performing horizontal directional drilling (HDD) work to enter Lithuania. Representatives of the German company LMR Drilling will start the complex construction of the pipeline under the Neris River in June.
 
At the initiative of Lithuanian and Polish gas transmission system operators, independent experts have started preparing a study to assess how to expand the commercial use of the GIPL connection in Europe, and the GIPL gas connection would create maximum economic benefits for Lithuanian, Polish and other European Union consumers. More information
 
From the beginning of the works in January to the end of May:
  • 103 km of pipes were delivered 
  • 87 km of pipes were laid along the route
  • 78 km of piping were welded into filaments
  • trenches were excavated and 17 km of piping were laid
  • buried 14 km of trenches
  • 66 km of the welds of the welded gas pipeline were X-rayed
  • archaeological explorations and detailed research were carried out. 
 

Project promoters

The project is carried out by Lithuanian and Polish natural gas transmission system operators Amber Grid and GAZ-SYSTEM. The European Commission has recognized the GIPL project as a major infrastructure gas supply security contributing significantly to the EU's energy security.
 
About AB „Amber Grid“
 
AB Amber Grid is Lithuanian natural gas transmission system operator. The company is responsible for reliable and safe transmission of gas (it’s transportation by high-pressure
pipelines) to users of the system, as well as for the operation, maintenance and development of the transmission system.
 
About GAZ-SYSTEM
 
Gas transmission system operator GAZ-SYSTEM is responsible for the transmission of  natural gas and management of transmission network in Poland. It is also the owner of the company  Polskie LNG, the operator of the LNG terminal in Świnoujście.

 

Technical data

Gas pipeline length

Total gas pipeline lenght both in Lithuania and Poland

508 km

Gas pipeline lenght in Poland

343 km

Gas pipeline lenght in Lithuania

165 km

Interconnection capacities

PL->LT  27 TWh/year

(2.4 bcm/year)

LT->PL  21 TWh/year

(1.9 bcm/year)

 

PL->LT  74 GWh/day

(6.6 mcm/day)

LT->PL  58 GWh/day

(5.2 mcm/day)

 

Design pressure

in Poland

8.4 MPa

in Lithuania

5.4 MPa

Timeline of the Project

The pipeline is built and operating

Welding of the pipes began

First pipes from Poland started to be transported to the construction site

GIPL Construction Contract entered into force and the construction work on the GIPL pipeline began

Savanorių pr. 28, LT-03116 Vilnius