German gas transmission groups Ruhrgas and VNG have completed
the joint construction of a pipeline linking Kienbaum with
Börnicke in the eastern part of the country, thereby creating
a link from the Dutch border to the Mallnow compressor
station near the Polish border
The approximately 40 km pipeline dubbed “Transmission pipeline 306” links the Wingas-operated Jagal pipeline with the existing Netra gas transmission pipeline via the Nordseegas pipeline (“303” pipeline) and hence fills the last remaining gap between Netra and Jagal.
Börnicke marks the start of the 303 pipeline, which finds its westwards continuation at Salzwedel in the Netra pipeline that runs to Dornum, the delivery point of Norwegian gas. At Bernau, the 303 pipeline is tied-in with the Bernau-Steinitz section of VNG´s transmission grid. At Kienbaum, the new pipeline is connected with the delivery-point Mallnow, located about eleven kilometres north of at Frankfurt/Oder, which is VNG´s offtake point for Russian gas from the Jagal pipeline. The 1,100 mm-diameter pipeline is equipped with a pressure of 100 bar, allowing for the transmission of more than 30 million cubic metre (Mm³) gas per day or about 11.0 billion cubic metres (Gm³) per year. Construction costs amounted to EUR 40 million.
The project has been primarily motivated by a transit agreement with Russian Gazprom´s marketing arm Gazexport, which is delivering 4 Gm3/yr of gas per year to Gasunie under a long-term contract. In April 2002, VNG agreed to increase the volumes it transports on behalf of Gazexport – and in cooperation with Ruhrgas – from Groß Köris via Steinitz to the Dutch border, effectively tripling the transportation capacity VNG provides for Gazexport transits. The Leipzig-based company declined to disclose further details on this transit deal and would only say that the new pipeline is aimed at “creating new transport capacities in both directions.”
In addition, both Ruhrgas and Wingas have agreements with Gazexport intended to facilitate the delivery of Russian gas to markets to the west of Germany. Both agreements include undisclosed flexibility arrangements.
Gazprom owns 10% of Interconnector, and has also booked a significant proportion of the capacity expansions that will take the Interconnector’s UK import capacity to 23 Gm3/yr . Gazexport is expected soon to announce new gas sales agreements with British importers.
“With the transmission pipeline from Kienbaum to Börnicke, we have created a constant pipeline grid network for (the transportation of) Russian gas to the Dutch border but also created the option of transporting Norwegian gas towards the East,” Ruhrgas board member Dr. Jürgen Lenz had said when the pipeline was launched recently. Both joint venture partners VNG and Ruhrgas identify growth potentials in the Berlin area and in the east German states Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and transport Norwegian gas into the Polish market.
VNG imports the bulk of its Russian gas (about 7 Gm3/yr or 43% of its procurement portfolio) through the Yamal pipelines that crosses Poland. During the gas year ´02, VNG transported about 5.4 TWh into the Polish market via Görlitz.
Netra is controlled by Ruhrgas (41.7%), with BEB (29.5%), Statoil (21.5%) and Norsk Hydro (7.2%) being among the other shareholders. The 303 pipeline is 50% owned by VNG, whilst BEB and Ruhrgas hold 25% each.
Concord gets go-ahead for pipeline to Lubmin
Separately, it emerged that the German states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have granted approval under the special planning law for plans to link Concord Power’s proposed 1,200 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant at Lubmin with Bernau. The construction of this pipeline will allow the future plant operator to buy gas, among other options, from Russian or north west European sources, should these projects materialise. Concord Power says it is currently in talks with both potential gas suppliers and power purchasers and is confident that it will be able to start construction of the CCGT plant next spring.
A further pipeline project, which could create a link to the Polish city of Stettin, is currently subject to examination under the special planning procedure.