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

A new phase in GIPL project – launch of preparatory work for connection of the pipeline to the transmission system


After completing the directional drilling in September and laying the gas pipes for the Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) under the country’s widest rivers on schedule, Amber Grid has begun preparations for the next significant stage of this project – connecting the installed part of the pipeline to the gas transmission system.

 
After completing the directional drilling in September and laying the gas pipes for the Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) under the country’s widest rivers on schedule, Amber Grid has begun preparations for the next significant stage of this project – connecting the installed part of the pipeline to the gas transmission system.
 
According to Amber Grid CEO Nemunas Biknius, the constructed section of the GIPL will be connected to the gas transmission system in Širvintos District, next to the Jauniūnai gas compressor station.
'The team has the goal of connecting the part of the new gas pipeline to the system – a job which requires careful preparation – by the end of this year. The most difficult moment is the temporary diversion of high-pressure, high-flow gas through a backup line, ensuring uninterrupted gas transmission throughout the system. Once we connect a section of the GIPL to the existing gas transmission system, we will have taken a major step towards the second part of project implementation. We are trying to speed up the work so that if the situation with COVID-19 changes, the project deadline will not be affected by circumstances beyond our control,' says Amber Grid CEO Nemunas Biknius.
During the eight months of project implementation, more than 100 of the 165 kilometres of GIPL pipeline have been welded, and 2 kilometres of pipeline have been laid under the Neris and the Nemunas. In the Neris, the 711-mm steel pipes were laid 20 metres beneath the riverbed, and 30 metres below in the Nemunas. 
 
From June to early September, more than 60 professional specialists from Germany and Lithuania worked on the construction of the gas pipeline under the Nemunas and Neris rivers. The horizontal directional drilling (HDD) method was used for the work in order to ensure preservation of the environment. The biggest obstacle in laying the pipeline under the Nemunas were the boulders that were found, and the pipeline had to be installed in a special case on the bank of the Nemunas due to the loose soil. This week, the German engineering company sent 23 lorries back to Germany carrying the special HDD equipment that spent the entire summer on the banks of the Neris and Nemunas. 
 
Other rivers also had to be crossed during construction of the international Lithuanian-Polish gas pipeline. The pipeline was laid in four smaller Lithuanian rivers – the Strėva, Lapainia, Verknė and Musė – and in small streams using the open-cut method. All works were supervised by the Lithuanian Fund for Nature, which is carrying out environmental monitoring during construction of the gas pipeline.
 
Two-thirds of the GIPL project is planned to be implemented by the end of 2020. In 2021, the remaining sections of the gas pipeline from Alytus District to Lazdijai will be installed, gas distribution points will be equipped, and a gas metering station will be built on the Lithuanian-Polish border.
 
The GIPL, which will start operating at the end of 2021, will connect the Lithuanian, Baltic and Finnish gas markets with the European Union. The gas pipeline will allow gas to be obtained from various sources, and will also allow for more efficient use of the Lithuanian gas transmission system and the Klaipėda LNG terminal.
 
 

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Halfway almost reached in the implementation of the GIPL project which will connect the Baltic region and Europe


Strategic energy project important for Lithuania and the Baltic region - the construction of the gas interconnection in the territory of Lithuania has already been completed at almost 50 percent planned works. 

 
Strategic energy project important for Lithuania and the Baltic region - the construction of the gas interconnection in the territory of Lithuania has already been completed at almost 50 percent planned works. The GIPL project has been presented to the representatives from state embassies of the region: Poland, Baltic countries, Finland and USA.
 
Over 100 km of steel pipes have been welded and 65 km of the pipeline has been laid into trenches in the GIPL project. The works have been performed in Alytus district and in November the gas pipeline will be laid beyond Alytus towards the Lithuanian-Polish border. The most complicated project part – laying the gas pipeline under the largest Lithuanian rivers – has been mainly implemented and allows continuing the planned works.
'The international GIPL gas pipeline will not be just a pipeline between Lithuania and Poland, but rather it will become the main artery connecting the gas markets of the entire EU, the Baltic countries and Finland. Thus the process of developing the single European gas market will be accomplished in our region, and Lithuania as well as other Baltic countries will have complete freedom of choice with regard to gas supply. The most important thing today is keeping to the pre-defined schedule with the rapidly ongoing construction works and finishing the project by the end of 2021, as planned', said Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.
The GIPL project with the value of almost EUR 500 million is implemented by the Lithuanian and Polish gas transmission system operators Amber Grid and Gaz-System. The major share of GIPL project funding – EUR 306 million – has been allocated by the European Union within the framework of the Connecting Europe Facility. The investment budget in Lithuania is EUR 136 million, yet savings are expected. This June, the European Investment Bank granted a loan of up to EUR 65 million for the implementation of GIPL. The project is financed not only by the EU, Lithuania and Poland, but also by Latvia and Estonia.
'Lately we have been transmitting big flows of gas via the Lithuanian network to Latvia, Estonia and Finland. According to the data of August, gas flows directed to Latvia exceeded the quantity of gas transported to Kaliningrad and Lithuania. It means that trade in gas is intensive, the market takes advantage of favourable global gas prices and is concerned with having alternative corridors for the development of gas business,' said Nemunas Biknius, CEO of Amber Grid.
The gas pipeline between Lithuania and Poland is targeted at elimination of Baltic energy isolation from the EU and at securing competition on the gas market. The GIPL gas pipeline which will be launched at the end of 2021 will enable import of gas from different sources, open up opportunities for gas supply from Poland, to Poland, Ukraine and other states. The new international gas pipeline will enable a more efficient use of the Lithuanian gas transmission system and Klaipėda LNG Terminal.
 
Built capacities will lead to transportation of approx. 27 Terawatt Hours (TWh) of gas from Poland to Lithuania per year, which is more than Lithuania’s annual gas consumption indicator (22 TWh). The capacities to Poland and other countries connected to Poland will allow to transport 21 TWh of gas annually. That is about half the capacities of Klaipėda LNG Terminal, leading to its wider use possibilities. After the GIPL project is implemented, the Baltic and Finnish gas markets will be integrated in the single EU gas market.
 

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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. 
JUNE
 
Amber Grid and The European Investment Bank recently has signed a €65 million loan agreement to finance the construction of the Lithuanian section of the planned gas interconnection between Poland and Lithuania.  The 18-year loan agreement is concluded on extremely favorable terms. More information
 
An important milestone of GIPL project - horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under the second biggest river of Lithuania Neris has been successfully completed. More information
 
 
From the beginning of the works in January to the end of June:
  • 118 km of pipes were delivered 
  • 98 km of pipes were laid along the route
  • 88 km of piping were welded into filaments
  • trenches were excavated and 28 km of piping were laid
  • buried 21 km of trenches
  • 80 km of the welds of the welded gas pipeline were X-rayed
  • archaeological explorations and detailed research were carried out 
  • HDD drilling was carried out during the construction of the pipeline under Neris river.
JULY
 
Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) works under the Nemunas river have started. Pilot drilling of the first thread was performed. Two pipes, about 700 meters long, will be laid under the largest river at a depth of 20 meters. In parallel, both pipes are laid side by side to ensure a secure gas supply. More information
 
  • 125 km of pipes were delivered 
  • 105 km of pipes were laid along the route
  • 99 km of piping were welded into filaments
  • trenches were excavated and 52 km of piping were laid
  • buried 42 km of trenches
  • 90 km of the welds of the welded gas pipeline were X-rayed
  • archaeological explorations and detailed research were carried out 
  • Pilot drilling of the first thread of the pipeline under the Nemunas was performed

AUGUST

The first gas pipe of GIPL interconnection has been laid under the Nemunas. More information.

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