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France to export gas via pipeline to Germany in early October – & More Latest News Here


France hopes to be able to export gas by pipeline to Germany from October 10th. The French Energy Regulatory Commission opened the public consultation phase of the project on Thursday (September 15), the penultimate stage before the export of 100 GWh/d.

On September 5, the President of the French Republic announced at a press conference following a discussion with Olaf Scholz that they had agreed to a gas solidarity agreement.

On September 7, the physical tests carried out by the French gas network operator GRTGaz at the Franco-German gas interconnection Obergailbach/Medelsheim were conclusive. The French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) was therefore able to launch the public consultation phase of the project on Thursday (September 15), which will be held until September 27 to confirm the commercial offer and the tariff for use.

The CRE will then have to confirm this information – after consulting the French Higher Energy Council (CSE) – to implement, from October 10 and in a progressive manner, the first exports.

Eventually, GRTGaz wishes to send 100 gigawatt hours per day (GWh/d) to Germany thanks to a offer of firm daily capacity, put on the market the day after, with the possibility of selling unsold capacities intraday at the end of the daily auctions.

This represents around four nuclear reactors according to Thierry Trouvou, managing director of GRTGaz, who outlined the project on Wednesday (September 14) when presenting his French gas outlook for the winter.

Germany has been suffering since September 1 from the stoppage of imports via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which represented more than a quarter of its gas consumption. This new capacity could therefore contribute substantially to satisfying German electricity consumption, which in 2021 amounted to 1.55 TWh/d.

We must be reactive so that European solidarity in gas and electricity is concrete” wrote on Twitter the new president of the CRE, Emmanuelle Wargon following the announcement of the launch of the public consultation.

Especially since the progress on this project comes at a time when the French and Germans are struggling on the revival of another gas project, that of the MidCat gas pipeline between Spain and France.

This project could theoretically streamline gas supplies to Germany, but the French authorities are asking for certainty about its usefulness.

Reverse flows

If hope is reborn to really implement European solidarity in this time of energy crisis, several aspects could slow down, or even cancel, the Franco-German interconnection project.

Firstly, the Obergailbach/Medelsheim interconnection is the only one between the two countries and only operates from East to West, allowing up to 650 GWh/d of gas to be imported into France.

From West to East, French flows all transit from the Dunkirk LNG terminal via Belgium. Consequently, GRTGaz warns that the sending of these new capacities will be conditional on the success of work to reverse the flows which will be carried out urgently, which could degrade the operation of the infrastructure.

Secondly, the 100 GWh/d planned will be conditional on the capacities of the GRTGaz network, i.e. the levels of French consumption over the day, as well as the level of the gas storage site of Storengy — a subsidiary of ‘Engie — in Cerville in Meurthe et Moselle, with a capacity of 1.5 billion m3.

If necessary, the flows can therefore be reduced to zero.

Finally, the gas must be transmitted in compliance with French rules which do not impose odorization of the gas, that is to say the addition of a smell for safety reasons, unlike the German rules.

In addition, the end date of the offer is not determined at this time. This means that those involved in the operation will take advantage of the experience gained this winter to determine the sustainability of the installation.

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The Article Is In French🡽

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