Construction projects 

New infrastructure for the energy transition – and your security of supply. 

Our customers need to get their gas punctually in the ordered quantity and the desired quality at all times. To make sure they do, we keep our infrastructure fully up to date. This includes not only our 12,000-km pipeline network but also our compressor stations.

When we plan and build our technical plants and systems, however, it’s not only the present-day energy supply we’re thinking about. We are in the midst of the energy transition, and by planning and building for the future, we are paving the way for hydrogen and green gases .

Construction projects currently underway

Pipeline: NETG Voigstlach – Paffrath   

We are planning to expand our supra-regional gas transmission system to include a new high-capacity pipeline from Voigtslach to Paffrath. The almost 24-kilometer-long pipeline will have a diameter of DN 900 and a wall thickness of 12.9 mm and be designed for an operating pressure of up to 70 bar. Construction is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2021 and will be completed by the end of 2022.

The Nordrheinische Erdgastransportgesellschaft mbh & Co. KG (NETG) is the operator of the pipeline of the same name extending from Elten on the Dutch border to Bergisch Gladbach.

Its owners are Essen-based Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE) and Dortmund-based Thyssengas GmbH who hold 50% each.

This new link will allow the urgent conversion of the regional and municipal gas grids from low-calorific (L-gas) to high-calorific natural gas (H-gas) in Leverkusen, Cologne and the surrounding communities from the first quarter of 2023. The construction project serves to secure supplies to residential consumers and industry.

Pipeline: EUSAL (Euskirchen – Erftstadt)

We are planning to expand our supra-regional gas transmission system to include a new high-capacity pipeline known as EUSAL. It will run from the Erftstadt area (North Rhine-Westphalia) to Euskirchen-Kuchenheim.

The pipeline will have a diameter of DN 400 and is designed for an operating pressure of up to 100 bar. The planning decision made by the district government of Cologne has been available since August 2020. The removal of the topsoil is scheduled to start in mid-September 2020. The main construction work will then begin in March 2021, with completion of the construction work planned for autumn 2021.

This new link will allow the urgent conversion of the regional and municipal gas grids from low-calorific (L-gas) to high-calorific natural gas (H-gas) in the Euskirchen area in 2022 and in the Bonn-Euskirchen area in 2023. The construction project serves to secure supplies to residential consumers and industry.

Pipeline: Heiden-Dorsten

We are planning to expand our gas transmission system to include a new high-capacity pipeline from Heiden to Dorsten (HeiDo). 

The pipeline will be designed and built as set out in the Gas Network Development Plan (Gas NDP). 

While the Gas NDP 2020 currently in place was drawn up, the requirements surrounding the HeiDo pipeline changed, which is why the Gas NDP 2020 now calls for the pipeline to be completed by the end of 2026. The main reason for this postponement was a change in the L/H gas conversion project in the Sonsbeck-Dorsten area. 

Under the NDP 2018, completion was originally scheduled for 2021.

Compressor station: Rimpar (MEGAL pipeline)

The new Rimpar compressor station (Bavaria) will be built in the immediate vicinity of the existing Rimpar compressor station to compress gas primarily from MEGAL I & II. In addition, it will be used to compress volumes to be shipped to or from the north. It will connect pipeline nos. 51 (MEGAL I) and 451 (MEGAL II), as well as pipeline nos. 55 (OGE), 455 (OGE) and 26 (OGE).

The MEGAL (Mittel-Europäische Gasleitung) pipeline system is operated by a joint venture company established by the two gas transmission system operators Open Grid Europe and GRTgaz Deutschland. MEGAL consists of two axes: MEGAL North, a dual natural gas pipeline stretching for some 460 km from the Czech border to France, and MEGAL South, running from the Austrian border towards Rothenstadt.

The new compressor station will essentially consist of three new gas turbine-driven turbo compressor units each housed in a separate compressor building with the associated peripheral piping and plant systems, as well as a new supply and fuel gas building to accommodate all necessary auxiliary installations and systems.

Initial preparations for the construction project began in January 2020. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Completed construction projects in 2020/2021

Our largest construction project in recent years has been the ZEELINK gas transmission pipeline which was commissioned on schedule in May 2021. This new pipeline was needed for the gradual conversion of gas customers from L-gas to H-gas, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia. ZEELINK allows us to connect the regions that are currently still supplied with L-gas to H-gas sources and routes on a permanent basis.

The ZEELINK natural gas pipeline, which is almost 216 km long, stretches from Germany’s border with Belgium near Aachen-Lichtenbusch via Sankt Hubert near Krefeld to Legden near Ahaus in North Rhine-Westphalia. The project also included the construction of a compressor station near Würselen. The new transmission pipeline makes an important contribution to supply security in Germany and also enhances the transmission capacity of the natural gas pipeline network from the north to the south.

ZEELINK is the largest single project in the Federal Network Agency’s Gas Network Development Plan 2015 (Gas NDP). The pipeline provides a connection to the LNG terminal in Zeebrugge and thus contributes to the diversification of natural gas sources and transmission routes to Germany. The name ZEELINK is derived from the Belgian LNG terminal in Zeebrugge. LNG is the acronym for liquefied natural gas.

For more information, please refer to our press release.

Commissioning of the ZEELINK gas transmission pipeline in Würselen/North Rhine-Westphalia in May 2021 (from left): Jörg Bergmann (CEO of OGE), Armin Laschet (Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia) and Thomas Gößmann (CEO of Thyssengas)

TENP deodorisation plant 

Given the need for more flexible gas transmission from the north to the south and vice versa, it was decided to build a deodorisation plant on the Trans-Europa-Naturgas-Pipeline (TENP) system. The project was executed jointly by Open Grid Europe GmbH and Fluxys TENP GmbH and was commissioned on schedule in December 2020. The plant is operated by Open Grid Europe GmbH.

The project called for the construction of a plant to remove tetrahydrothiophene (THT) from the gas coming from France. THT is an odorant that is used extensively in the French high-pressure gas pipeline system, but is only added to the German network at the distribution level. It is not used in high-pressure gas pipelines due to the technical requirements during transmission.

Natural gas entering the TENP system at the cross-border interconnection point at Wallbach for transmission from the south to the north may therefore contain different levels of THT. Consequently, for transmission and consumption in Germany, the natural gas must be treated in a way that reduces the THT concentration.

The odorant is removed by fixed-bed adsorption, as is common practice in gas treatment. For this purpose, the natural gas is piped through the deodorisation plant, which essentially consists of a total of four adsorber towers and the necessary ancillary equipment.

Due to the European character of the TENP pipelines, which link up several countries, the deodorisation plant is recognised a Project of Common Interest (PCI) and was therefore eligible for funding by the European Union under the supervision of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). For this reason, it is subject to EU Regulation 347/2013 on the Guidelines for Trans-European Energy Infrastructure (TEN-E Regulation).

For more information, please refer to our press release