Gas Transmission System Operators Publish Draft National Gas Grid Development Plan

The German gas transmission system operators published a draft of the national gas grid development plan (NEP Gas) on their joint website www.netzentwicklungsplan-gas.de. It shall serve as a basis for the first NEP Gas, which the gas transmission system operators have to present to the German grid regulator, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) until 1 April 2012.

In  early February a scenario framework comprising three main scenarios that differ in their assumptions regarding the consumption by end consumers and the amount of gas needed for electricity generation was approved by BNetzA, following a consultation process.

As the gas transmission system operators believe that scenario II (medium gas consumption) is most likely to materialise, their work focused on this assumption. Until 2015 they identified the need for pipeline construction projects for roughly 200 km and additional compressor capacity of 90 MW for this scenario, resulting in costs of approximately EUR 600 million. Until 2022 pipeline construction projects over a length of roughly 730 km and additional compressor capacity of approximately 360 MW are to be expected, resulting in costs in the range of EUR 2,200 million, transmission system operators say.

In case of scenario I (high gas consumption) investments of roughly EUR 4,600 million over the period 2012 to 2022 are needed, estimates suggest. They are based on the assumed need of pipeline construction projects with a length of approximately 1,840 km and additional compressor capacity of approximately 740 MW.

Only data submitted until 30 November 2011 were included in the model calculations and the assumptions derived thereof. If and to what extent difficult load situations as they occurred in February would effect the need for grid expansion still had to be examined in a coordinated way for both the gas and electricity networks, the gas transmission system operators said.

Furthermore, the gas transmission system operators point out that deviations from the assumptions made for the scenarios would have significant consequences for the investment needs. Hence, they see a strong need for cooperation between themselves and all investors, especially with regard to the coordination of grid expansion and investment decisions regarding storage facilities and power plants. They propose to discuss these aspects as well as the macroeconomic need of gas infrastructure projects with all parties concerned. The consultation of the draft NEP Gas, which ends on 9 March, is intended to be a first step. A one-day workshop will be held in Berlin on 29 February 2012.

Source: Netzentwicklungsplan-Gas

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