Open Grid Europe has announced that its newly completed Zeelink gas pipeline will be tested in November and is expected to become operational, in spite of Covid restrictions as soon as March 2021. This 600-million-euro pipeline is the fruition of a joint venture between Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE, 75 percent) and Thyssengas GmbH (25 percent). The former was responsible for planning and construction of the pipeline which began in April 2019.
With a design capacity of some 26,400,000 m³ per day this 215 km pipeline starts at the Belgian/German border at Lichtenbusch near Aachen and ends at the North Rhine-Westphalia town of Legden. It also includes a compressor station located at Würselen in Aachen. On completion, the pipeline will give parts of North West Germany direct access to the Zeebrugge LNG import terminal in Belgium.
This pipeline is an essential link in Germany’s current efforts to convert the northern German gas grid from low calorific gas, sourced from the soon-to-close massive Groningen gas field in Holland, to high calorific gas, which is imported from Qatar, the United States and Nigeria.
Interestingly this pipeline was planned and constructed despite Germany’s long-term plans to construct its own LNG import terminals along the North Sea coast.