Poland broke ground Wednesday on a gas terminal on the Baltic Sea aimed at diversifying energy sources and lessening the country's reliance on Russian gas.
"This is real diversification," Prime Minister Donald Tusk said. "Behind this... lies security and real independence from what up until now has been the one source of gas."
Russia provides some two-thirds of Poland's gas needs, the remainder coming from domestic and other sources.
The liquefied natural gas terminal—located in Swinoujscie, north-western Poland—is set to launch operations in June 2014 and will handle gas from Qatar and other countries.
Poland inked a deal in June 2009 with Qatargas for gas deliveries for 20 years, starting in 2014 at an annual rate of 1.5 billion cubic meters.
The contract fulfills one-third of Poland's total gas needs, Tusk said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The Swinoujscie terminal will have an initial annual capacity of some 5 billion cubic meters. Capacity will grow to 7.7 billion cubic meters.
Poland currently relies heavily on Russian gas imported through Ukraine and Belarus. That supply was disrupted in 2009 over disputes between Russia and the transport countries.
Copyright 2011 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH