19 May 2020
Gas network operators agree timetable for transition from L-gas to H-gas
Customer appliances in the Drohne-Ahlten region to be converted from 2023
With the signing of a transition timetable, ten local gas network operators (Stadtwerke Schaumburg-Lippe GmbH, WESTNETZ GmbH, enercity Netz GmbH, Avacon Hochdrucknetz GmbH, Westfalen Weser Netz GmbH, Stadtwerke Wunstorf GmbH & Co. KG, GWS Stadtwerke Hameln GmbH, Stadtwerke Rinteln GmbH, LeineNetz GmbH) and the upstream gas transmission system operator OGE have set the course for the conversion of the Hanover and Minden/Lübbecke service areas from low-calorific gas (L-gas) to high-calorific gas (H-gas).
L-gas production is set to decline steadily over the next few years. H-gas on the other hand is going to be available in large quantities internationally and hence also in Germany. Switching to H-gas will therefore guarantee a high security of supply also in the long term.
More than three years before the actual changeover, the network operators have now agreed specific timetables. According to these plans, the Drohne-Ahlten area, as defined in the Gas Network Development Plan, will switch to H-gas over the period from 2023 to 2025. The technical steps for the conversion of parts of the enercity Netz GmbH service area in 2023 have already been finalised. Further plans for the years 2024 and 2025 will be prepared and approved over the coming months.
In 2023, the conversion to H-gas will start in Langenhagen, a service area operated by enercity Netz GmbH. The remaining network areas of enercity Netz GmbH in Hanover will follow in 2024 and 2025.
2025 will also see the conversion of other network areas operated by the above DSOs in southern Lower Saxony.
For the conversion scheduled in 2025, OGE will build a new gas metering and pressure regulating station in Drohne where the gas infrastructure will be connected to new H-gas sources in Northern Germany.
Thorsten Schuppner, Head of L/H-gas Conversion Projects at OGE, noted: "Early cooperation between all participating network operators is of particular importance for these conversions which will continue until 2030. This cooperation has allowed the early conclusion of the conversion contract in the region east of Osnabrück to Hanover."
The utilities in this region currently supply over 400,000 gas appliances in their network areas with L-gas. This low-calorific gas comes from German and especially Dutch sources.
The different composition of the H-gas requires adjustments to be made to all gas appliances and installations throughout the region. All affected customers will be informed in advance by their local network operator in writing.
The costs associated with the conversion of residential and commercial customers will initially be borne by the network operator and subsequently be included in a market area conversion charge levied across Germany.
An overview of conversion dates on a month-by-month basis is provided by the association of network operators at www.fnb-gas.de.