Czech-Austrian pipeline on track – CP
Czech independent gas supplier Česká plynárenská (ČP) is planning to start construction of the 100km pipeline connecting the Czech Republic to Austria's West-Austria-Gasleitung (WAG) pipeline during the second half of 2011, company co-owner Ladislav Drab told ICIS Heren.
The construction is expected to be complete within two years after it has begun. The company had originally planned to start building the pipeline in 2010 (see ESGM 30 January 2009).
The pipeline, dubbed Mozart, will connect WAG with a new 200 million cubic metre (Mm³) underground gas storage facility ČP is planning to build. Drab said preliminary exploration works on the facility are scheduled to start in August, after which, the storage site could be operational within five years.
The project is part of the Czech Republic's aim to increase its interconnections with western markets.
On another front, Czech transmission system operator (TSO) NET4GAS is planning to invest koruny (Kc) 15bn (€587m) in new transit pipelines until 2020 (see ESGM 5 March 2010). NET4GAS is involved in several interconnector projects. The largest is the Gazela pipeline, which would allow the Czech Republic, as well as Bavaria (southern Germany), to receive Russian gas from the proposed Nord Stream pipeline. Gazela would connect to the Opal pipe, which begins at the Baltic link's beaching point.
Another planned project underway is a 60km bi-directional pipeline, LBL, which should connect the Czech network with the Austrian hub within approximately three years.
In addition, a connection with Poland is scheduled to be put into operation by the end of 2011. The pipeline will provide for the transmission of around 500Mm³/year. The length of the line will be around 20km on the Polish side (running through Cieszyn, Hażlach, Dębowiec and Skoczów) and around 10km on the Czech side.
ČP has a purchase agreement for gas with Statoil, and supplies gas to about 5% of customers in the Czech Republic. ČP is also registered on Austria's Baumgarten hub, although it is not actively trading so far. KZ
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