31 Mar 2023, 11:35
Julian Wettengel

Adapting Germany's gas transmission grid to new supply will cost €4.4 bln – operators


Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s gas pipeline network has to be adapted to a new reality over the coming decade, as gas consumption is expected to decline by at least 20 percent by 2032, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) set to replace Russian deliveries, transmission grid operators said. In their draft gas network development plan for the period 2022-2032, the operators said that proposed projects will require about 4.4 billion euros of investment, 1.9 billion of which will be network expansion projects for new LNG facilities. “The task now is to make the transmission network more resilient to the changes facing the gas industry, while at the same time gaining independence from Russian gas and increasing the diversification of import sources,” said operator association FNB Gas in a press release. However, there was some uncertainty over LNG import capacity buildout. “At this point in time, it is still open as to which capacities will actually be built at German LNG sites,” said Inga Posch, managing director of FNB Gas. At the same time, neighbouring network operators had indicated that they are able to make additional capacity available at the cross-border interconnection points. “It makes sense to use these access points to LNG facilities in Western Europe to maximise availability and flexibility as soon as possible,” said Posch.

Due to the halt of pipeline gas deliveries from Russia, the infrastructure had to be adapted to enable Germany to import LNG directly and, to a certain extent, turn around gas flows. The prevailing direction of flow in and through Germany used to be from the north-east to the south-west, but now certain infrastructure has to be adapted. Grid operators and environmental NGOs have been at odds over the extent to which infrastructure such as LNG import terminals and pipelines must be built as Europe tries to wean itself off Russian imports.

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