Gas in the world > Improvements in infrastructure > Europe
Route diversification and the implementation of new gas pipelines and LNG terminals are essential elements in Europe’s new energy security architecture.

The most important scheduled projects are: Nord Stream, South Stream, Nabucco, Trans-Adriatic, Turkey-Greece-Italy Interconnector, Medgaz, GALSI and Skanled (Norway to Sweden and Denmark, with start date still to be decided).

The Nabucco Project is vital in creating a new European access route for natural gas resources from various sources, in this case from around the Caspian Sea. The European Commission has lent its political and financial support, and the transit agreements have been signed. The aspects still lacking include better identifying available gas resources (Gazprom proves a competitor in this regard, as it heads South Stream) and, lastly, the final investment decision, which should be undertaken in 2011.

The constructed Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline would traverse the Caspian Sea and link Central Asia’s natural gas deposits with Azerbaijan and the already existing Baku-Tiflis-Erzurum gas pipeline in Turkey. Turkmenistan will construct, furthermore, a natural gas pipeline to transport gas from the South Yolotan gas field westward.

With respect to Nord Stream (kick started in April 2010), it crosses waters that are under Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and German jurisdiction. Gas will start being channelled towards Germany in 2011.

Germany is on the verge of doubling its underground storage capacity, thereby reaching a natural gas capacity of 37 bcm.

In the Netherlands, construction continues on the Gate LNG receiving and regasification terminal in the outskirts of Amsterdam. Conversely, the LionGas project (in Rotterdam), which would have competed with the aforementioned terminal, has been cancelled.

The Norwegian company Gassco is studying the prospect of constructing a new gas pipeline, which would be operational in 2016 or a year or so thereafter, depending on market evolution. The market in this case would be the United Kingdom or the European continent. This project aims to maintain Norway in the second half of this decade, in its role as Western Europe’s premier supplier.

In the United Kingdom, the South Hook LNG terminal finished its second and final phase in April. It now has a capacity of 21 bcm per year. The first shipment arrived in March 2009.
Figures indicating an increase in the United Kingdom’s imports in 2010 (roughly twice as much as in 2009) signalled not only a rising foreign dependence on its consumption, but also an enhanced role as a continental supplier (via the Interconnector), due to the spot market’s low prices.

In Poland, talks continue in an effort to accord the final investment decision on constructing an LNG terminal. It would be located on the Baltic coast, close to the German border. Its initial 5 bcm capacity could be operational sometime in 2014.

Towards the end of the summer, partners from Hungary and Croatia signed an agreement to build, operate and maintain a natural gas pipeline which will connect the countries’ natural gas systems. The gas pipeline will cross the border formed by the Drava River, between Drávaszerdahely (Hungary) and Donji Miholjac.
Once the Adria LNG terminal (planned on Croatia’s Krk Island) has been completed, the aforementioned gas pipeline will be capable of reversible use.

Authorities from Bulgaria and Serbia also forged an agreement to construct an interconnector between the countries’ transmission networks. This will comprise a 180km gas pipeline which will transport 2 bcm/year and could be operational in 2013.

Studies assessing the viability of building LNG terminals are being drawn up in many sites around Europe.

Examples include: that announced by Lithuania in the spring; Bulgarian and Turkish authorities’ consideration of a joint project concerning this same topic around this same date; also the possible construction of a joint terminal between Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan, Ireland’s first terminal in the Shannon Estuary, in County Kerry, and the terminal currently being studied in Cyprus, among others.

Annual Report 2010
Annual Report 2.010: Sedigas - The Spanish Gas Association