Authorities in Poland have cheered the completion of a 275-kilometre offshore section of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, which also crosses Swedish and Danish waters, as the country hopes to counter the perceived unpredictability of gas supplies from Russia.

The annual capacity of Baltic Pipe is set at 10 billion cubic meters which is comparable to the volume of gas received by Poland under its long-term contract with Russian monopoly Gazprom, according to a Baltic Pipe consortium communication quoting Piotr Naimski, Poland's Strategic Energy Infrastructure Secretary.

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Although Baltic Pipe has not yet obtained updated environmental permits to complete onshore construction in Denmark, Poland expects to start accessing gas supplies from Norway and Denmark via the new pipeline before the expiration of the contract with Gazprom in December 2022, Naimski was quoted as saying.

The gas pipeline project is a joint venture of gas transmission operators, Denmark’s Energinet and Poland’s Gaz-System.

Earlier this summer, the project suffered an unexpected delay after authorities in Denmark withdrew their permits for the construction on the pipeline on the western part of Funen Island and the eastern part of mainland Jutland peninsula.

Construction of the electrical supply to the compressor station near the village of Everdrup was also halted, as the project operator was asked to conduct additional environmental studies and propose changes to construction work routines and remedial efforts before new permits are issued.

Last month, Energinet said that the suspension of construction was among the factors that had bumped up the final cost of the Baltic Pipe by €135 million, to a total €1.1 billion ($1.24 billion).

Design changes on a technically complicated tie-in from the existing Europipe 2 pipeline in the North Sea into the Nybro gas terminal in Jutland and high demand for construction contractors have added to the rising cost of the project, according to Energinet.

Poland has been facing increasing worries on the stability of Russian deliveries this year following the expiration of a long term contract for Russian transit gas supplies to Germany, and the anticipated start-up of operations of Russian Nord Stream 2 subsea pipeline.

According to German pipeline operator Gascade, Russian gas deliveries via the Yamal Pipeline in Poland to Germany have been running at about 29.5 million cubic metres of gas per day in November, or one third of the volumes during the same period of 2020.