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    Energy firms warn of "hazardous" contaminants in UK gas exports: press

Summary

In recent months, the gas that the UK sends to the rest of Europe has been persistently contaminated with materials that are "hazardous," "toxic," "radioactive" and "pyrophoric."

by: NGW

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Energy firms warn of "hazardous" contaminants in UK gas exports: press

Energy companies including Belgium's Fluxys and France's EDF have called on National Grid to take "urgent" action to address the problem of "toxic" and "hazardous" contaminants in the gas that the system operator is processing for export to the EU, the Financial Times reported on August 8.

The UK has been ramping up LNG imports this year and then re-exporting the gas to the Belgium and Netherlands via pipeline, helping Europe secure alternative supplies amid a sharp reduction in Russian volumes. National Grid has requested approval from UK energy regulator Ofgem to temporarily increase the amount of gas it can send to mainland Europe, but the energy companies want the toxicity problem resolved first.

In recent months, the gas that the UK sends to the rest of Europe has been persistently contaminated with materials that are "hazardous," "toxic," "radioactive" and "pyrophoric," meaning they can burn when they come into contact with air, the energy companies said in written evidence to an expert panel that last week met to review National Grid's proposal.  The panel nevertheless recommended that Ofgem approve the request.

Removing these materials has already cost traders £270mn ($326mn) this year, the energy companies warned, and the problem could force subsea pipelines to undergo maintenance shutdowns this winter, just as Europe prepares for a possible complete halt in Russian supplies.