Conexus: More than €16 million is planned to invest in projects of European interest this year

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the single natural gas transmission and storage system operator JSC “Conexus Baltic Grid” (Conexus), in line with the schedule of the 2018-2025 development projects, is actively pursuing the European projects of common interest - the Inčukalns underground gas storage (UGS) project and the Latvian-Lithuanian project gas interconnection capacity building project (ELLI). Of the total investment of 93.5 million projects, Conexus plans to invest €16.37 million this year, mainly for sub-projects to modernise infrastructure.

The project for upgrading Inčukalns UGS is scheduled to be carried out by December 2025 and will result in a modernisation of the surface infrastructure of Inčukalns UGS site, the redeployment of gas drills and the improvement of existing gas infrastructure, improving the safety of storage technical infrastructures and equipment.

Head of Inčukalns UGS  Rinalds Dimiņš said: “I am pleased that as technically complex as this project we are able to implement as planned, despite the impact of pandemics on our work planning, the management of processes with international partners and suppliers has its own challenges. We are already seeing in the day-to-day operation of storage the significant benefits of the sub-projects implemented in recent years in order to move closer to the creation of one of the most advanced storage sites in Europe, so it is essential, despite external barriers, to continue the development course that has been taken."

Mr. Dimins points out that this year the central tasks will be to continue the gas recovery point (GRP) No. 3 conversion project, as will the upgrading of gas pumping units in storage compressor station No. 2, as well as the ongoing work on the redeployment of 27 wells, which will take place by 2024 in general.

This year, EUR 14.9 million is expected to be invested in sub-projects for storage modernisation, where EUR 5.3 million is planned to be reintroduced for gas drilling, EUR 2 - EUR 3.7 million for upgrading gas pumping unit No 3 and EUR 2.9 million for setting up a new gas pumping unit and EUR 3 million for improving gas collection point No 3.

On the other hand, in improving the Latvian-Lithuanian interconnection (ELLI) by the end of 2023, Conexus, together with the Lithuanian natural gas transmission system operator Amber Grid, is implementing a project aimed at increasing transmission capacity in both directions approximately twice to meet regional gas market demand and guarantee security of gas supply in interstate connections, as well as to ensure sufficient capacity. natural gas flows throughout the Baltic natural gas system.

It is important that several phases of the project have been completed so far, and of the 17 sub-projects that Latvia needs to carry out, 5 have already been implemented by acquiring investments of EUR 1.42 million.

This year, €1.47 million is planned to be invested in the implementation of the project, including 4 additional sub-projects. Sub-projects will include the diagnosis of the transmission pipeline, looking at the transition of the underwater transmission pipeline over Daugava and the pipeline branch to the gas control station Vangaži, performing the necessary diagnostic work during it; the reconstruction of the connecting hub of the transmission pipeline Vireši-Tallinn, the transmission gas pipeline Riga-Paņeveža conversion of the pipeline at the transmission pipeline Riga-Inčukalns UGS II, as well as the replacement of the phases of the transmission pipeline Riga-Inčukalns UGS at the gas regulating station “Riga-1”.

According to Ivars Cibuļski, Head of Gas Transmission: “This year, works on ELLI project will continue with as much intensity as last year, so that the project will be implemented on a planned basis. Although we have successfully adapted to the new working conditions that are achieved through the professionalism, responsibility and flexibility of the team, there are some challenges. Nevertheless, our priority objective is to continue to plan the progress of the remaining sub-projects by closing five of them this year, while continuing work on eight additional sub-projects."

The total cost of the project is estimated at €9.77 million, of which the costs of the Conexus project are €5.50 million and €4.27 million for the Lithuanian LNG transmission system operator, while the co-financing of the Connecting Europe Facility is set at 50%.