Up to the nineties of the twentieth century, most of natural gas delivered to the Western Europe was carried by pipelines running across Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. A growing demand for gas in countries of the Western Europe and also in Poland resulted in a need to consider construction of new gas pipelines that would allow for an increase in both quantities and flexibility.
The basis for construction of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline was provided by signing the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Russian Federation on Construction of the System of Gas Pipelines for Transit of Russian Gas through the Territory of the Republic of Poland and Deliveries of Gas to the Republic of Poland.
The planned gas pipeline was to become the largest system of this kind in Poland and one of the largest ones in Europe. It was assumed that two lines of the gas pipeline, of the nominal diameter of 1400 mm, would be built to allow for transport of 67 million cubic meters of natural gas a year.
The approx. 684 km-long Polish portion of the Yamal pipeline has been built and commissioned for operation in several phases:
- 1995 (April) – The „Nikiel” ship came into the port of Szczecin, carrying the first batch of the pipes,
- 1996 – Making the first weld on the pipeline, so called “the first weld”,
- 1996 – Commissioning of the first mainline segment of the first pipeline’s line, running from Górzyca to Lwówek Wielkopolski. Construction of this segment connected two gas systems: that of Poland and of Germany, and enabled commencing transmission of Russian gas to Germany via the Polish system,
- 1999 (September) – making the last „golden” weld on the Polish segment of the Yamal pipeline,
- 1999 – Commissioning of the Kondratki Gas Compressor and Metering Station,
- 2000 – Commissioning of the Włocławek System’s Regulating and Metering Station,
- 2005 – Commissioning of the Ciechanów and Szamotuły Compressor Stations,
- 2006 – Commissioning of the Zambrów Compressor Station.
The design assumptions featured innovativeness unusual for that time. Particular attention was paid to ensuring adequate reliability of the pipeline and to minimise its effects on the environment. Many solutions used in the design were absolute novelties in Polish gas industry. Execution of the project required partnership among many experts and scientists from Poland and abroad.