UK-Belgium Gas Link Shutdown Delayed to 2021
Annual maintenance at the Interconnector UK (IUK) gas link between Belgium and the UK, scheduled to take place between November 11 and 21 2020, has been delayed until the summer of 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, its Belgian operator Fluxys said on May 11.
The pandemic has "impacted the delivery of equipment and the availability of vendor resources to perform maintenance works during this period," Fluxys said in a statement. However, some necessary maintenance will instead take place for two days starting on November 4, during which time the pipeline will be shut down.
Regarding the summer 2021 closure, IUK will inform the market and launch a consultation at a later date, Fluxys said.
IUK, operated by Fluxys and Italy's Snam, is capable of flowing 803 GWh/d of gas from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Bacton in the UK, and 651 GWh/d in the opposition direction.
UK-based Ineos, operator of the North Sea's Forties Pipeline System, has similarly delayed maintenance work due to take place this year until spring 2021, citing difficulties bringing workers together amid the pandemic. The 600,000 b/d oil transport system handles around 40% of the UK's crude supplies.