Transgaz investment programme by 2025: Major priorities of the strategic natural gas transmission projects
- Written by Adrian Stoica
The development plan of the national gas transmission system for 2016-2025, managed by Transgaz, amounts to EUR 1.6 billion. It was approved in mid-June by the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE) and includes eight strategic projects aiming, among other things, at developing the Black Sea gas taking-over infrastructure, at completing the interconnection of the Romanian transmission system with the networks in Serbia, and at developing the connections with the Republic of Moldova.
The most important investment - the project Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria (BRHA) aims at developing the transmission capacities and the interconnections between the Romanian transmission system and the similar systems in Bulgaria and Hungary, and the implementation is to take place in two stages. The first stage consists in achieving the following objectives: the Podisor - Recas 32" x 63 bar pipeline in length of about 479 km; three gas compressor stations (SC Podisor, SC Bibesti and SC Jupa), each station being equipped with two compressor aggregates (one in operation and a backing compressor), with the possibility of providing bidirectional gas flow. The second stage involves the following objectives: the Recas - Horia 32" x 63 bar pipeline in length of about 50 km; the enhancing of the three compressor stations (SC Podisor, SC Bibesti and SC Jupa) by mounting a compressor equipment at each station; the enhancing of the current SMG Horia gas metering station.
The BRHA project allows the transport of 1.75 billion cubic metres per year in the first stage and 4.4 billion cubic metres per year in the second stage, including the possibility to take over the new supply from the Black Sea. The deadline is estimated in 2019 for the first stage and in 2020 for the second stage, whereas the overall Transgaz investment amounts to EUR 547.4 million – EUR 478.6 million in the first stage and EUR 68.8 million in the second stage.
TAKEOVER OF THE BLACK SEA GAS
The major objective of this investment is to create a transport infrastructure connecting the new potential natural gas resources available at the Black Sea coast and the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria corridor, thus ensuring the possibility of directing gas to Bulgaria and Hungary through the existing interconnections: Giurgiu - Ruse (with Bulgaria) and Nadlac - Szeged (with Hungary). The project has become a priority for Transgaz in the second half of 2013 as a result of the need to ensure the adequate transport capacity in order to capitalize the Black Sea natural gas in Romania and on the Central European markets. The estimated deadline is 2020, “depending on the offshore upstream plans,” the Development Plan reads, with the estimated investment of EUR 278.3 million.
THE INTERCONNECTION WITH THE T1 INTERNATIONAL NATURAL GAS PIPELINE AND REVERSE FLOW ISACCEA
By implementing the Greece-Bulgaria-Romania-Ukraine project, a transport corridor is being established between the markets of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, with a new interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria. The transport contract for Tranzit 1 pipeline capacity expired on October 1, 2016. Starting with the 2016-2017 gas year, the Tranzit 1 transmission capacity is auctioned according to the European Code for Capacity Allocation Mechanisms at Cross-Border Interconnection Points and to the ANRE Order no. 34/2016. The project will consist of: the modernization and enlargement of the Silistea compressor station; the building of a new compressor station in Onesti; the interconnection of SMA Isaccea 1 (SNT with Transit 1); the rehabilitation of the Cosmesti - Onesti (66.2 km) and Silistea - Sendreni (11.3 km) pipeline sections. The estimated completion date is 2019, with an estimated investment amounting to EUR 65 million.
IMPROVING NATURAL GAS SUPPLY IN THE NORTH-EAST AREA
Considering the necessity to improve the natural gas supply of the North-East region of Romania and taking into account the perspective offered by the new Iasi - Ungheni interconnection pipeline between Romania and Republic of Moldova to provide transport capacities to the Republic of Moldova, a series of developments in the Romanian gas transmission system are needed so that the technical parameters appropriate to the concerned regions’ consumption requirements can be ensured.
The project envisages the construction of several natural gas pipelines and compressor stations and by completing it the necessary pressure and transport capacity of 1.5 billion cubic metres per year can be ensured at the interconnection point between the transport systems of Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Its objectives are: to build a natural gas pipeline (DN 700, Pn 55 bar) on the direction Onesti - Gheraesti, 104 km long. The route of this pipeline will be largely parallel with the current pipelines DN 500 Onesti - Gheraesti; the construction of a new natural gas pipeline (DN 700, Pn 55 bar), in the direction Gheraesti - Letcani with a length of 61 km, which will replace the current DN 400 Gheraesti - Iasi pipeline on the Gheraesti - Letcani section; the construction of a new gas compressor station in Onesti, with an installed capacity of 6 MW, two compressors of 3 MW, one operational and a backing one; the construction of a new gas compressor station in Gheraesti with an installed capacity of 4 MW, two compressors of 2 MW, one operational and a backup one. The estimated deadline for the project is 2019, with a total estimated value of the investment of EUR 131.7 million.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ONESTI - NADLAC CORRIDOR
Depending on the volumes of natural gas available at the Black Sea shore (which could not be taken over from the BRHA corridor), over long-term is envisaged the development of the transport capacity on the Onesti - Coroi - Hateg - Nadlac corridor. The development of this natural gas transmission corridor involves the following: the rehabilitation of current pipelines belonging to SNT; replacing the current pipelines belonging to SNT or installing new pipelines in parallel with current ones; developing four or five compressor stations with a total installed power of approximately 66 - 82.5 MW. Transgaz has currently conducted the pre-feasibility study on the development of this natural gas transport corridor and, in order to optimize and streamline both the implementation process and the possibilities of attracting non-reimbursable funding, the corridor has been divided into two projects - Reversible flow at the Romania-Hungary interconnection and The SNT development between Onesti and Bacia. The first project will consist of: the construction of a transmission pipeline on the Bacia - Hateg - Horia - Nadlac route, approximately 280 km long, and the construction of two new gas compressor stations along the route. The second project aims at: rehabilitating some pipeline sections, replacing the current pipelines by new larger diameter and higher-pressure pipelines, and building two or three new gas compressing stations. The completion deadline for the entire corridor is 2023, the estimated investment being EUR 530 million.
ALTERNATIVE TO OFFSHORE GAS
Considering the natural gas deposits discovered in the Black Sea lately, Transgaz also envisages the setting up of an additional point for taking over the natural gas from the Black Sea submarine exploitation blocks. Transgaz has completed a pre-feasibility study for a 25-km transport pipeline with Dn 500 diameter, from the Black Sea coast to the current T1 international transmission pipeline. The study analysed two routes of the natural gas pipeline, as well as different diameters of the pipeline, depending on the transport capacity. The estimated completion deadline is 2019, depending on the schedule of the offshore upstream projects. The investment’s estimated value is EUR 9 million.
ROMANIA - SERBIA INTERCONNECTION
The project “Interconnection of the national natural gas transmission system to the similar natural gas transmission system in Serbia” consists in the construction of a pipeline for the interconnection of the national natural gas transmission system with the similar natural gas transmission system in Serbia in the Arad - Mokrin direction, in length of about 80 km. The analysed alternative of natural gas exports to Serbia is taking over natural gas from the future BRHA pipeline. The closest point of the BRHA pipeline to the Romania - Serbia border is Mokrin, the Arad area. The estimated completion deadline is 2025, the estimated total investment being EUR 43 million, of which the investment in Romania is EUR 37 million, to which could be added EUR 3 million if a metering station will be built on the territory of our country. The project will consist of the following:
• the construction of a new interconnection pipeline between Arad - Mokrin, about 80 km long, of which about 74 km on the territory of Romania and 6 km on the territory of Serbia with the following characteristics: pressure in the BRHA pipeline in Arad area - 47 bar (PN BRHA - 63 bar); diameter of the interconnection pipeline - 500 mm; transport capacity - max. 1 billion Smc/year (115,000 Smc/h), Mokrin pressure - 42 bar; transport capacity - max. 1.6 billion Smc/year (183,000 Smc/h), Mokrin pressure - 35 bar;
• the construction of a gas metering station (can be located on the territory of Romania or Serbia).
UPGRADING SMC ISACCEA 1 AND SMG NEGRU VODA 1
The project involves the construction of two new gas metering stations in the current buildings of the metering stations, the investment is estimated at EUR 13.9 million, out of which EUR 7.1 million for upgrading SMG Isaccea 1 and EUR 6.8 million for upgrading SMG Negru Voda 1. The project should be completed in 2019. Both Isaccea 1 metering station and Negru Voda 1 metering station will be equipped with separation/filtering equipment and metering installations: the separation/filtration will be provided by separation/filtration battery, and the filtration fineness will be of 10-12 microns. The metering equipment will include several parallel (operational and back-up) metering lines equipped with ultrasonic meters to measure the quantities of natural gas supplied, each line being identically equipped with three independent metering systems (Pay, Check and Verification). The Pay and Check independent systems will use dual ultrasound gas-meters, and the Verification Systems will use a simple ultrasonic gas-meter.
BENEFITS AND FINANCING WAYS
By ensuring the connection between different sources of gas supply and the European market, these investment projects contribute to the achievement of the European Union’s targets, with considerable benefits, among which:
• the integration of the gas market and interoperability of gas transmission systems in the region;
• the convergence of gas prices in the region;
• the elimination of congestion in the transport of natural gas in the direction Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary;
• Increasing the European gas transmission system’s flexibility by achieving interconnections in bidirectional flow;
• Romania’s and EU’s access to a new source of natural gas;
• increasing the competition on the European gas market by diversifying the sources, the transport routes and the operational companies in the region;
• increasing security of gas supply;
• lower dependence on Russian natural gas imports;
• boosting the development of renewable energy in the region (especially wind and solar energy) given the possibility of using natural gas as backup for renewable energies, which leads to a significant increase in the sustainability of the proposed projects.
The investment program would be covered in a 35% share by Transgaz’ own sources (about EUR 560 million) and 65% (about EUR 1,040 million) will be covered from attracted sources. It should also be said that out of the eight strategic projects, the final decision for conducting the investments was made only for the one on the construction of the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria transmission corridor (BRHA), the rest being in different phases of analysis.
THE SYSTEM'S MAIN COMPONENTS
• 13,303 km main transport pipelines and natural gas supply connections, out of which 553 km international natural gas pipelines
• 1,132 control stations for natural gas metering
• 60 slide valve control stations (SCV, NT)
• 6 gas metering stations for imported gas
• 6 metering stations located on the international natural gas transmission pipelines (SMG)
• 3 natural gas compressing stations (SCG) with an installed capacity of about 28.94 MW and a maximum compression capacity of 650,000 Nmc/h, i.e. 15,600,000 Nmc/day
• 1,042 Cathodic Protection Stations (SPCs)
• 871 natural gas odorizers (SOG)