Conexus to develop the first centralised biomethane feed point in the Baltics

With the aim to promote biomethane production and its free circulation in Latvia, the unified natural gas transmission and storage system operator AS Conexus Baltic Grid (Conexus) has developed a unique solution in the Baltics, allowing biomethane producers to deliver biomethane to a centralised biomethane entry point using special mobile gas containers to be fed into the common gas transmission system. Currently, 4 such entry point locations have been identified in Latvia and the first one will be located in Džūkste, allowing to serve up to 20 biomethane producers within a 50 to 60 km radius. 

The Member States of the European Union continue to actively implement various projects to transform the energy sector, focusing on renewable energies and their synergies with existing energy infrastructure. Experts have concluded that biomethane is a promising renewable energy resource in Latvia, which can be used in the national economy and transported in the existing gas system without major infrastructure rebuilds. 

"Currently, there are only a few potential biomethane production facilities in Latvia that are close to the gas transmission system and where it would be economically feasible to install a direct connection to the system, so to ensure maximum development of Latvia's biomethane production potential, Conexus will build specially designed biomethane entry points," explains Aleksejs Batrakovs, Head of Technical Development and Investments at Conexus' Technical Development Department. This solution was found by analysing the location of natural gas infrastructure networks and biogas plants on the territory of Latvia, as well as the distance of their location from the gas transmission system. Last year, Conexus identified four potential sites for biomethane feed-in points, with the first to be developed in Džūkste. 

He added that Conexus' proposed solution is to implement the so-called "virtual pipeline" concept, which means that biomethane producers will be able to compress the biomethane they produce to 300 bar and fill it into mobile gas containers, which can then be transported by truck to a biomethane entry point connected to the gas transmission system. This solution will give all biomethane producers, including those whose production sites are far from the gas transmission system, an equal opportunity to benefit from the interconnected gas system.

As required by the Energy Law, the biomethane feed-in point will be equipped by the transmission system operator for the safe feed of biomethane into the transmission system, as well as for metering, quality control and remote control of the biomethane feed-in point. 

"The current design of the biomethane entry point envisages that the accounting and quality control of biomethane to be fed into the system will take place at the entry point, identifying the supplier, transport and cargo, with the quantity fed into the system being attributed to the specific consignee indicated by the producer. The quality of the gas entering the biomethane feed gas system must comply with the current legal framework on feed gas quality, similar to that for system connections. It is envisaged that the use of the biomethane feed-in point will be subject to the same entry tariff as any other entry point to the system," Mr Batrakovs said. 

At the same time, he points out that biomethane producers still have the option to connect directly to the interconnected gas system, where the biomethane input will be balanced according to the existing balancing procedure.