The international role of Inčukalns Ungerground Gas Storage is increased

The unified natural gas and transmission operator Conexus Baltic Grid JSC (Conexus), continuing the modernization project of Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage (UGS), this year will start the designing works of overground equipment, will restore 30 bores, and will work at modernization of the existing five gas pumping units and at the project to install a new gas compressor. In total, the 88 million investment project will promote the improvement of supply security, increase the capacity of storage operation and facilitate the integration in the international energy market.

The project is implemented in three directions, working at restoration of bores, and modernization of overground and gas pumping units and installation of new equipment. The preparatory works were commenced already in 2019, among other several procurements were arranged to complete the large-scale modernization works to 2025.

Zane Kotāne, Chairperson of Board of "Conexus Baltic Grid" JSC informs: “Inčukalns UGS is very important for natural gas infrastructure of the region, because it is the only functioning storage in the Baltics that ensure the stability of regional gas supply. That is why this seven-years project benefits the modernization of storage from several aspects. First, the outdated equipment is replaced and new and modern technologies enter Inčukalns UGS that increase the operational capacity and security of the storage. Secondly, this project is planned in close link with current events in the markets of Baltic and Scandinavian countries. With increase of market integration, the role of storage also increase, which means that the technological requirements to ensure the required capacity for larger supplies of natural gas also grow.”

Within the framework of the project, it is planned to improve the underground gas storage collection point at Inčukalns UGS by constructing 33-35 technological lines with maximum operating pressure 105 bars. This year, not only the designing and preparatory works for construction are performed, but it is planned also to arrange the procurements to purchase the required principal technological equipment.

In the field of bore modernization, 6 bores’ restoration works were completed by attracting both external experts and performing the works with our forces. When characterizing the resources invested in the project, Z. Kotāne emphasizes the competence of local experts to involve in complicated infrastructure modernization projects.  Z.Kotāne continues: “This project with its technical complexity is a challenge also to expertise and competence of local experts and I am very glad about the capacity of our team to contribute the international team that was create to perform specific works.

This year, the restoration of the remaining 30 bores was commenced for which the permits from construction authorities of Krimulda and Sēja Municipalities are already received.

After modernizing the compressor shops in Inčukalns UGS, new gas pumping unit will be installed, capacity will be increased in the existing five gas pumping units. It’s planned that the new compressor ensures acquisition of compression gas with the capacity 12-15 million m3 a day and pumping with capacity of 4-6 million m3 a day, at the same time reducing the dependence of gas storage removal capacity from the amount of gas in the storage. It’s important to emphasise that modernization of this equipment reduces also the amount of discards in the atmosphere and reduces also the fuel consumption. Besides, certified environment, energy management and labour safety management systems are introduced in Inčukalns UGS working in accordance with the standards of ISO international certificates.

This year, procurements are planned for development of the construction design and purchase of the required principal technological equipment to install the new pumping unit.

Inčukalns UGS modernization and development project has received co-funding in amount of 50% from Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) of European Union (EU) and it is one of the largest European common interest projects that is implemented in Latvia.