Gasunie Transport Services (GTS) has investigated the consequences for the Netherlands of a possible complete cessation of the supply of Russian gas in Europe for a year. The findings show that there will be no gas shortage in the Netherlands next winter, provided a number of conditions are met. Accordingly, GTS expects that mandatory shut-off of the gas supply for consumers in the coming winter will not be necessary.
A possible interruption in the supply of Russian gas to Europe can be sufficiently absorbed for Dutch consumers over the coming winter, based on the following conditions, observations and measures taken:
- The current approximately 20% lower market demand due to high gas prices continues.
- No capacity caps are set for the Dutch coal-fired power stations.
- The Dutch LNG capacity is doubled through the expansion of Gate terminal and the new EemsEnergyTerminal being developed by Gasunie.
- There is continuing full utilisation of the LNG terminals in the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom, as is currently the case, enabling a maximum supply of LNG.
- Dutch gas stores are filled to at least 80%. It is expected that even if the current shutdown of Nord Stream 1 lasts longer, the gas storage facilities can be filled sufficiently to achieve the target of 80%.
- The low-calorific gas (L-gas) market in neighbouring countries (Germany, Belgium and France), which depends on the Netherlands for its supply, can be served.
- The import of natural gas by Germany from the Netherlands is limited by setting a maximum of 35bcm from west to east in the German transmission network.
According to GTS director Bart Jan Hoevers, ‘It is good news for Dutch customers that, as long as certain conditions are met, there will be no mandatory shut-off of the gas supply for consumers over the coming winter. Other emergency measures such as extra production from the Groningen field do not appear to be necessary in the coming months either. What remains essential, however, is that we reduce our natural gas consumption together. It is also essential that measures be taken to ensure sufficient gas in the gas stores and a maximum supply of LNG.’
GTS also makes a number of qualifications. In the event of a cold winter or setbacks in the supply of LNG, the actual situation may deviate significantly from the figures used for the calculations. Additional measures are required to fill the gas storage facilities for the following heating season (from October 2023) to the desired level of 90%.
Gasunie has worked hard in recent months on securing alternatives to Russian gas. This calendar year, the LNG import capacity of the Netherlands via Gate terminal and the new EemsEnergyTerminal will double from around 12bcm to 24 bcm. In addition, there is regular consultation with surrounding network operators to implement operational optimisations so that the flow of gas from west to east can be expanded even further.
The GTS analysis also shows that in the coming gas year (from October 2022), under the conditions outlined, the Netherlands will be able to transport a maximum of 35bcm of natural gas to Germany. Bart Jan Hoevers: ‘Here in the Netherlands, we are happy to help get more gas to Germany; 35bcm is the maximum that the domestic German gas transmission network can handle. This volume is nearly equal to the total annual consumption in the Netherlands.’