Poland gets 1st shipment of liquefied natural gas from Qatar as it diversifies energy sources

Poland has received its first delivery of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from Qatar as it tries to diversify its energy sources and cut the price of imports from Russia.

The giant LNG ship Al Nuaman, which carries some 200,000 cubic meters of liquefied gas, arrived in the port of Swinoujscie on Friday, after 21 days of travel from Qatar.

Poland, which currently depends on Russia for about 60 percent of its natural gas, has signed a 20-year contract with Qatar for LNG deliveries. It has been seeking new suppliers ever since Russia cut deliveries to Ukraine, which is a transit country for gas flowing to Europe, in a pricing dispute.

Poland intends to supply some of the LNG to the pipeline network that it is developing with other countries in the region that have also been hit by Russia's export policy.

The shipment that arrived Friday will be used to start operations at the Swinoujscie gas terminal, which should be fully operational in mid-2016 following months of delay. It is the biggest LNG terminal on the Baltic Sea and one of the largest in Europe.

Maritime Affairs Minister Marek Grobarczyk said the port is important for diversifying Poland's energy sources and will help in negotiating gas prices with Russia. Poland is paying Russia's Gazprom among the highest import prices in Europe.