German gas pipeline companies recently submitted a draft plan to national regulators calling for 7 billion euros (US$8.6 billion) to be spent on expanding and upgrading the country’s grid by 2028.
According to FNB, an association for the country’s gas transmission system operators (TSOs), the plan includes the construction of 1,390 km of new pipelines, as well as 499 MW of new compressor capacity, to meet Germany’s supply needs in ten years’ time. It also calls for the development of 66 GW of exit capacity at the country’s borders plus a further 70 GW of exit capacity to facilitate Germany’s switch from low to high calorific value (CV) gas specifications in its pipeline infrastructure.
Germany receives half of its gas from Russia via pipelines through the Czech Republic, Poland and the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea. It draws its remaining supplies from Norway, the Netherlands, the UK and Denmark, as well as 8% from domestic sources.
Germany’s import mix is set to change, however.
The Netherlands is looking to slash production at the giant Groningen field, which accounts for over half of national output, to reduce the small but damaging earthquakes it causes. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte outlined plans last month to cut production to 12 bcm by 2022 and zero in 2030. Meanwhile, UK and Norwegian output is slated to remain flat. These factors will leave Germany increasingly reliant on gas from Russia.
Russia’s state gas supplier Gazprom is looking to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by 2020, doubling the flow of Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany to 110 bcm per year. Germany’s pipeline investment plan up to 2028 includes the Eugal project, which will transport gas from Nord Stream 2 to the Czech Republic, following the path of an existing pipeline. The plan also provides for the construction of an LNG terminal at Brunsbuettel on the Elbe estuary of the North Sea near Hamburg.
Germany’s national regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, will decide whether to approve the draft plan later this year.