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Czech Republic, Poland connect gas systems

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Sept. 14, 2011, 6:24 p.m. | World — by Associated Press

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and Czech Prime Minister, Petr Necas, shake hands during a press conference after their meeting in Prague, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011.
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RAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic and Poland have connected their natural gas networks as part of efforts to secure alternative energy supplies. The prime ministers of the two countries — Petr Necas of the Czech Republic and Donald Tusk of Poland — opened a pipeline named Stork on Wednesday.

The 32-kilometer (20-mile) pipeline with a capacity of 500 million cubic meters a year makes it possible to transfer gas in both directions.

It was built by the Czech pipeline operator Net4GaS and its Polish counterpart Gaz System.

EU nations have been seeking to secure alternative gas sources and reduce their dependence on Russia following Europe's natural gas cutoff of Russian gas shipments via Ukrainian pipelines in January 2009.
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