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Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage starts the new natural gas removal season 100% filling

JSC “Conexus Baltic Grid” (Conexus) has successfully completed the natural gas injection season 2020/2021, with users placing 21.525 TWh of natural gas for storage at Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage (Inčukalns UGS). When compared with the previous storage cycle, Inčukalns UGS is pumped by 16% more natural gas. The new natural gas removal season will start already tomorrow, on 15 October.

The technical capacity of the storage for the storage cycle 2021/2020 is set at 21.5 TWh, therefore, by injecting 21.525 TWh of natural gas, the system users have used the whole available storage capacity. Such activity and interest of system users in the storage of natural gas at Inčukalns UGS has been directly influenced by the opening of the unified natural gas market on 1 January this year, which has raised the use of storage for a wider range of international traders. At the same time, the conditions in favour of using the storage are also determined by the overall global situation in the natural gas market where the price of natural gas on the stock exchange was significantly lower.

Rinalds Dimiņš, Head of Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage continues: "I am pleased that we have managed to overcome the critically low storage filling just a few years ago, which were not desirable for the long-term technical operation of storage. Now, we start the second season in a row with good start-up capital - the filling of storage and technical capacity are good, which means that are able to adapt more flexibly to the needs of the system users in terms of deliveries, even if demand for natural gas remains high. This is the base of energy security and stability."

It should be emphasised that the storage use capacity is currently being strengthened through the storage investment program up to 2030, part of which is implemented by means of EU co-financing. Some of the major projects include the modernization of operational wells and assemblies, and it is planned to reconstruct the gas collection point No.  3 and install a new gas pumping assembly. It is expected that the mentioned project contributes to improving the security of natural gas supply, the technical capabilities of operation of the Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage, and to facilitating the integration into the international energy market. 

Already in November 2020, Conexus will announce the forecast of technical capacity for the storage cycle 2022/2021.