Lithuania and Poland have formally commissioned the new gas pipeline connecting the two Baltic states, and Finland, to the EU’s single gas network.

Built with an investment of $528.4m (€500m), the new Poland-Lithuania Gas Connector (GIPL) pipeline is expected to help the region in reducing its dependence on Russian gas.

The European Commission provided approximately 60% of the funding for the GIPL pipeline project, which is also backed by Latvia and Estonia.

Implemented by Polish and Lithuanian gas system operators Gaz-System and Amber Grid , the new 508km pipeline will transport natural gas from Lithuania, via the Klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, to Poland.

The project, which has already started to supply gas, will transport 1.9 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/year) of gas to Poland in the next five months.

The gas transportation capacity from Poland to Lithuania is expected to reach two bcm/year.

Gaz-System president Tomasz Stępień said that the new pipeline project provides access to a new gas corridor from the European market for Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.

Poland Strategic Energy Infrastructure Plenipotentiary Piotr Naimski said: “Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are coming to the end of [the] gas isolation era and, through Poland, are connecting their transmission systems to the vast European market, which offers the possibility of acquiring the resource at competitive market prices.

“In the situation created by Russian aggression near our borders, the GIPL, together with other projects being implemented by Gaz-System such as the Baltic Pipe, the interconnector with Slovakia, and the expansion of the LNG terminal in Świnoujście, makes it easier for Europe to overcome dependency on the unreliable and aggressive supplier from the East.”