Challenges of Industrial Gas Demand in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia
This paper focuses on natural gas demand in Central and Eastern Europe, and in particular uses three countries, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as case studies. The uniqueness of the region’s economies is in its dependency on industry which makes industry the most important natural gas consumer. Central European industry has been enjoying robust growth which will continue into the next decade, but future industrial development will be increasingly determined by EU environmental policy which will impose much stricter limits for previously exempt companies. This will impose a heavy financial burden on certain industries within the next decade. Future gas demand by the steel industry will be determined by a handful of steel mills and their prosperity and ability to compete in the more competitive world. Feedstock used by the chemicals industry will be threatened by increasing competition from the Far East and lately the USA, while modern paper mills are cutting out fossil fuels altogether. In contrast, the glass industry will continue to rely largely on natural gas as no other fuel can secure the required product quality. According to these findings, the author forecasts Central European industry will see incremental growth of up to 4.2bcm/y by 2030.