Successful booking of new transport capacities

Market survey confirmed: Capacity expansion required at two market area boundaries

Kassel. Important milestone in the more capacity project: The successful auctions confirm the market’s wish for new transport capacities to the GASPOOL market area for the long term. A market survey in 2015 along the boundaries of the GASPOOL market area had already confirmed these additional transport requirements between Germany and its neighbors. “For GASCADE, the auction results mean renewed confirmation of the necessity of the network expansion through the construction of the EUGAL European pipeline link from the Baltic Sea to the German-Czech border,” said GASCADE Managing Director Christoph von dem Bussche.

In the annual PRISMA auctions on 6 March 2017, existing and new capacities were auctioned off at the market area transition points to the GASPOOL market area and from GASPOOL to the west and south. At the new Lubmin II network point, transport capacities of up to 55 billion cubic meters (approx. 73 GW) per year over the long term were purchased at auction. Natural gas should thus be received from the new Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 and made available to the European market via the planned European Gas Pipeline Link (EUGAL) and the existing natural gas infrastructures directly connected to the EUGAL: the Northern European Gas Pipeline Link (NEL), the 306 gas pipeline (FGL 306) or the North German Natural Gas Transversal (NETRA) and the Yamal Gas Pipeline Link (JAGAL).

“The capacity bookings also lead to better use being made of the existing infrastructure in the long term,” said GASCADE Managing Director Igor Uspenskiy, in assessing the results. A particularly pleasing result is that the entire capacities to the Czech Republic were successfully marketed as a bundle. “This result is thanks to very good cross-border cooperation with the Czech network operator Net4Gas,” Uspenskiy stressed.

Network expansion to Poland will not be necessary for the time being. If needed, it has been possible to transport up to 620,000 m³/h of natural gas from the German GASPOOL market area to Poland since April 2004. So far, however, only just over half of the existing capacities at the Mallnow network point to the east are booked – primarily on a daily or monthly basis.

The results of the capacity auctions will now undergo an economic analysis. In addition, they should – in compliance with new European legislation – be included in the Scenario Framework for the 2018 Network Development Plan (NDP). The transmission system operators are thus underpinning the assumptions on the development of the production, supply and consumption of gas, as well as its exchange with other countries over the next ten years with actual demand figures from market players. The infrastructure projects resulting from the scenarios should be confirmed in the 2018 NDP.

At the same time, preliminary work for the EUGAL will be driven forward. The direct connection to the existing natural gas pipelines JAGAL and NEL and the indirect connection to NETRA mean that EUGAL can transport natural gas flexibly in all directions, thus significantly increasing network stability and supply security in Europe.

As a complement to the network development plan (NDP) process, the more capacity initiators GASCADE, Gasunie Deutschland and ONTRAS conducted a market survey from 21 August through 16 October 2015, to determine the need for new transport capacities for H gas along the boundaries of the GASPOOL market area The aim was to project future demand for new cross-market-area transport capacities as early and as realistically as possible in order to support the expansion of the gas pipeline infrastructure in line with the European internal market and supply security. Fluxys Deutschland joined more capacity in April 2016, followed by NEL Gastransport in July 2016.