Balgzand-Bacton Line Can Switch from July
Physical reverse flow through the Balgzand-Bacton Line (BBL) will be possible from July 12, operator BBL Company (BBLC) said June 25 in an operational update. Originally built and operated by Dutch Gasunie to help meet UK security of supply, so far the link has only been able to carry gas from the Netherlands to the UK.
As with the bi-directional Interconnector UK pipeline which links Belgium and the UK, the direction of flow through BBL will depend largely on the prices at either end of the line, as long as the difference is big enough to cover the cost of transport.
At the Dutch site the commissioning phase is coming to an end and will be finished June 28 and on the UK site – the pipeline starts/ends at the Shell terminal in Bacton – the construction team will start the commissioning phase activities for reverse flow on July 5-13. Forward flow capacity is expected to be available again on July 6.
The UK Joint Office of Gas Transporters which administers the Uniform Network Code approved a modification to the UNC to execute the interconnection agreement between BBLC and National Grid Gas to facilitate physical reverse flow.
UK energy regulator Ofgem last week approved the modified terms and conditions of BBLC, which will enter into force July 1.
As approval for marketing capacity via the implicit allocation mechanism (IAM) is now obtained, BBLC will start offering 75% of its technical available forward flow capacity via IAM as of July 2. BBLC’s IAM partner is be Cavendish Markets with products offered on PleXhub. As a pipeline operator, BBLC is not allowed to take a position in the gas market.
Physical reverse flow capacity will be made available via IAM and Prisma, the pan-European pipeline capacity trading platform, once Ofgem has approved the interconnection agreement between BBLC and National Grid and the project is technically completed. IAM allows capacity to be sold simultaneously with the gas, whereas Prisma sales are limited.