German TSOs "Confident" About Upcoming Winter
German transmission system operators (TSOs) are "confident" that the country will have enough gas supply this winter despite the delay in the launch of the Nord Stream 2 (NS 2) pipeline from Russia, industry group FNB Gas said in a report on November 29.
FNB, which represents 11 regional gas grid operators, said flows could be redirected via alternative routes to make up for the lack of volumes that would have come from NS 2. The 55bn m3/year pipeline had been due to start up at the end of 2019, but Russian authorities now expect its launch in early 2021, owing to permitting delays in Denmark and US sanctions.
FNB attributed its confidence to robust levels of storage, with facilities currently 95% full, meaning "there is enough transport capacity from numerous sources to secure gas supply even during longer cold spells." To cover peak loads and for balancing, TSOs and market area managers have also contracted gas products on the market as a "precautionary measure." They will also rely on the "tried-and-tested" hedging instruments.
The conversion of low-calorific gas to high-calorific gas facilities is still on track, FNB said, as delays in Germany's first lockdown were almost made up for at a later point. Germany is preparing to go without low-calorific gas from the Groningen field in the Netherlands, a major source of swing supply, owing to the shut down in 2022 after years of causing quakes.