September 10, 2014 / 1:40 PM / in 3 years

Poland looks to import natural gas from United States, Canada

WARSAW, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Poland is looking for partners in the United States and Canada from whom it could import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for its terminal due to be launched next year, Polish Deputy Economy Minister Ilona Antoniszyn-Klik said.

She added that representatives of Poland’s largest energy companies will go to the United States in September to hold talks on potential deliveries, but said U.S. LNG prices were uncompetitive for Polish clients for now.

“We are ready to find trade partners in the United States and Canada, who would supply gas to the newly-constructed LNG terminal in Swinoujscie,” she in comments authorised for release on Wednesday.

The Polish LNG terminal in the port city of Swinoujscie on the Baltic coast will initially be able to accept 5 billion cubic metres of LNG per year. Poland expects that the terminal to accept first deliveries by end-June 2015.

“For now the prices offered by U.S. companies seem not very competitive for Polish clients, but there is a chance that prices will fall on the global market in the near-term,” Antoniszyn-Klik said.

She also said Poland was working on securing permits for importing LNG from the United States.

The United States is expected to start exporting larger quantities of LNG in 2015/2016 after it eased restrictions on exports in May this year.

Poland is looking to diversify its gas imports away from Russia. Russian gas is currently accounting for about three-quarters of Polish natural gas consumption.

Poland said on Wednesday the volume of gas it has received so far this week from Russian gas monopoly Gazprom was down by at least 20 percent.

Some European countries believe Moscow may use a disruption of gas to Europe as a trump card in its confrontation with the West over Ukraine. The row has already dragged ties between Moscow and the West down to their worst since the Cold War. (Writing by Marcin Goettig Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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