Modernisation of the Inčukalns UGS significantly improves the stability of Latvia's natural gas supply

The Unified System Operator for Natural Gas Transmission and Storage Conexus Baltic Grid AS (Conexus) informs that the inspection of the results of the upgrade works of the existing gas pumping unit 12z330 No. 3 within the framework of the Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage (UGS) Improvement Project has been successfully completed. It concluded that for the first time in the history of the storage, the unit will now be able to be used for natural gas compression withdrawals during the spring months, when the storage has less active natural gas available and the technical capacity of the storage is limited without compression withdrawals. The use of a compressor will significantly improve the continuity and security of natural gas supply under high natural gas demand conditions, also at the end of the natural gas withdrawal season.

Within the framework of the modernisation project, in addition to the planned objectives of reducing harmful emissions to the environment, reducing fuel gas consumption, improving the operational stability and reliability of the gas pumping unit and increasing its pumping capacity, the necessary technical and technological improvements have been made to the gas pumping unit to allow the use of this equipment for natural gas compression withdrawal.

Inčukalns UGS, with a design capacity of 24 TWh, is the largest natural gas storage facility in the Baltic Sea region and has historically been built on the basis of natural withdrawal of injected natural gas. This means that, for a given residual natural gas in storage, the withdrawal of natural gas is directly affected by the pressure differential between the natural gas storage and transmission systems. At the end of withdrawal seasons, when storage inventory is low, withdrawal flows are determined by the storage capacity - the amount and pressure of natural gas in storage.

Uldis Bariss, Chairman of the Board of Conexus, informs: "The ability of the storage to technically support natural gas withdrawal with compressors is a significant improvement for the stability and continuity of Latvia's natural gas supply. So far, at the end of the colder winter season, we have been able to provide users with the capacities that the storage can offer, following the natural gas withdrawal capacities available at the time. Now, thanks to the ambitious Inčukalns underground gas storage modernisation project, we have developed a solution that allows the modernised compressor to ensure stable and predictable daily natural gas withdrawal capacities, even with low natural gas inventory and storage pressures. A long-term natural gas compression withdrawal solution, which will ensure stable operation of the storage also at higher transmission pressures, will be implemented by 2025 through the installation of a modern gas pumping unit. Overall, this strengthens the role of Inčukalns UGS as a guarantee of stability and security for both system users and end consumers of natural gas."

The upgrading of the existing compressors is part of the Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage Upgrade Project. As a result, emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere have been reduced, fuel gas consumption has been reduced, and the possibility of using it for compression withdrawal has been found through the reconstruction and improvement of auxiliary systems and equipment. The modernisation of the storage facility with several project phases runs from 2019 to 2025, with total project investments of €88 million, half of which is covered by European Union (EU) funding.


2021.11.12 16:29:26