Winter cold responsible for peak demand for natural gas

Groningen | press release
  • Huge demand for gas from Dutch households, especially in the west of the country
  • Gas transmission operating flat-out – Gasunie's Maasvlakte installation standing by with peak stocks
  • Record volumes of natural gas at border points between the Netherlands and Germany
  • Gas roundabout also helps gas supply in England

Due to the cold winter temperatures in the Netherlands and neighbouring countries, Gasunie's gas transmission network has been operating flat-out to keep us warm. Over 500 million m3 natural gas flowed through the grid last Monday and Tuesday. The average daily volume in January is 380 million m3. The record for the century was 545 million m3 in a day recorded on 7 February 2012, when the average daily temperature was a bit lower at -11°C. To be on the safe side Gasunie's installation at Maasvlakte was standing by with a peak supply of gas because of the huge demand from households. This so-called peak-shaver can be deployed to keep the gas supply in the Randstad up to the required level when there is extra demand for gas, such as in the morning when all households and businesses get going. Temperatures are expected to stay well below zero at least until next weekend.

In addition to the increased domestic demand for natural gas, Gasunie is doing its bit for the gas supply in neighbouring countries. Yesterday, for instance, a record volume of gas was transported from Germany through the Dutch grid to the United Kingdom. Demand for gas is currently high in England too due to the cold weather. British domestic gas stocks are gradually being depleted, so they are having to import more and more natural gas to meet their own needs. As Gasunie's infrastructure has sufficient capacity and is well connected to international gas streams, from Norway and Russia for example, Gasunie can make a significant contribution to security of supply in north-west Europe. Germany especially, which has a high proportion of energy from renewables since the shift in energy policy, really does need the flexible support from natural gas.

Gasunie CEO Paul van Gelder: 'Gasunie is the gas engine of north-west Europe. We have the people for it and we have the infrastructure. Now that we are having to boost the supply to keep everyone warm we can also see that renewable energy plus gas is the successful combination for a sustainable and reliable energy future. It is in these cold periods that it is especially vital that everyone can continue to rely on energy being available. That is exactly what the Dutch gas roundabout does. Above ground the winter can sometimes create scenes of chaos, but below ground the gas just keeps on flowing.

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