French TSO GRTgaz to increase entry capacity by 50%
French transport system operator (TSO) GRTgaz will invest EUR650m in 2009, up by 10% from 2008, the company said in its activity report this month.
In 2008, investments increased by 61% to EUR600m from 2007 on work to improve network fluidity as well as gas supply. A total of 39% was dedicated to generation of new capacity. This included the development of new pipelines in the Northeast part of the country, connecting three combined-cycle gas-fired power plants at Saint Avold and at the two LNG terminals, Montoir de Bretagne and Fos Cavaou. The company also developed interconnection with Germany, raising available capacity by 44% at Obergailbach.
The projects for the period 2007 to 2015 should increase entry capacity by 50% from current capacity which amounts to around 2.7TW/day. For the period 2011–2015, new projects in France should include the connection with LNG terminals Dunkerke, Antifer and Fos Faster, and the development of pipelines in the southern part of the country, Artère du Rhône, Arc de Dierrey, and Artère du Midi.
The company plans to develop further interconnection with Belgium. Furthermore, Spanish TSOs ENAGAS and Naturgas Energía, French counterparts GRTgaz and TIGF, as well as regulators CRE and CNE are currently carrying out a study on interconnection development between Spain and France.
In 2008, GRTgaz recorded a turnover of EUR1.5bn compared with EUR84m in 2007. Transport activity generated EUR1.3m, 86% of the revenue.
Balancing GRTgaz is to be integrated with the French gas exchange platform operated by Powernext in 2009, GRTgaz told ICIS Heren.
In May 2008, GRTgaz had acquired a 5% stake in the exchange operator Powernext with GDF SUEZ taking a 6.6% stake. Powernext and GRTgaz launched the GRTgaz balancing platform in April 2007.
Further, Belgian TSO Fluxys and GRTgaz launched a capacity exchange platform Capsquare last January. Twenty shippers are currently involved. The experiment period will result in conclusions which should be released soon. Depending on the conclusions, the TSOs will decide if it should be extended to new players.
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