PGNiG Picks London for Global LNG Trading Desk Amid Brexitby
Poland imported its first commercial LNG cargoes this month
PGNiG plans to open desk in January, start trading in 1Q
PGNiG SA will set up its global liquefied natural gas trading desk in London even as the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union casts doubt on the city’s future as a financial and trading hub.
Poland’s dominant gas company, which this month received its first commercial LNG cargoes into a terminal on the Baltic Sea, will open the desk in January and start buying and selling the fuel by the end of the first quarter, Chief Executive Officer Piotr Wozniak said in an interview.
PGNiG is joining companies from Cheniere Energy Inc. to Glencore Plc that have LNG trading operations in London. The decision to leave the European Union threatens the city’s status as a financial hub for Europe if Britain is unable to keep the rules that govern trading in the bloc.
“Brexit complicates things but technically only,” Wozniak said. “We need not only people and facilities but also the financial environment that is based in London. If financial hub moves elsewhere, we will most likely follow, too.”
State-controlled PGNiG is attempting to diversify away from its historic dependence on Russian natural gas, this month starting imports into a 3 billion zloty ($750 million) LNG import terminal and proposing a pipeline from Norway. The company has a long-term supply agreement with Moscow-based Gazprom PJSC that expires in 2022.