Poland and Lithuania sign agreement to build €471m gas pipeline

The European Commission has announced the signing of an agreement between Poland and Lithuania to build the first €471m gas pipeline connecting the two countries.

The agreement was signed by Poland prime minister Ewa Kopacz and Lithuania president Dalia Grybauskaité in Brussels.

The proposed Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania (GIPL), also known as the Lithuania-Poland pipeline is part of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan project and is expected to be completed by 2019.

According to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, the pipeline which connects Poland and Lithuania will end the isolation of the Baltic Sea region.

"We have agreed on European infrastructure that will unite us, instead of dividing us."

The commission proposed to create links that allow energy to flow to regions which are in need of it and to ensure every member state has access to at least three sources for energy.

The commission aims to build missing cross-border links between the Baltic Sea region and the rest of the EU energy market.

Juncker said: "Today's signature is about European solidarity. It is about leaders taking responsible decisions to increase our security and strengthen our resilience.

"We have done much more than bringing the energy isolation of the Baltic states to an end. We have brought the region further together. We have agreed on European infrastructure that will unite us, instead of dividing us."

Following the signing of agreement, the promoters will be able to start construction works on the pipeline.

The project implementation will be monitored by the Baltic states and Poland. The pipeline is expected to have 2.3 billion m³ capacity a year with the possibility to expand it to 4.5 billion m³ per annum.

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