2 Oct 2020

Press release

Market area conversion from L to H gas: OGE looks back on successful year

All project targets for 2020 have been met despite the difficult environment

The transition from L gas to H gas is in full swing throughout Germany despite the challenging backdrop. OGE can look back on a successful year 2020.

By the end of September 2020, OGE had successfully completed all conversion activities scheduled for the year and managed to make up for the temporary delays due to the challenges posed by the Corona pandemic. From March 2020, these challenges had considerably increased the need for communication and coordination.

Frank Harlacher, the L/H Gas Conversion Project Manager at OGE, said: "Our special thanks go to all those involved across the industry and to the end users concerned – without their excellent cooperation, it would not have been possible to complete the conversions scheduled for this year".

In total, OGE’s conversion activities in 2020 affected eleven distribution system operators and thirteen directly connected industrial customers in Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. Upstream natural gas systems serving cities such as Gießen, Wetzlar and parts of Bergisch-Gladbach were also successfully converted from L gas to H gas. In terms of figures, this amounts to almost 60 OGE delivery points supplying gas to around 160,000 end user gas appliances.

This positive outcome is important for the challenges ahead next year when conversion activities will be stepped up to almost 270,000 appliance conversions managed by OGE alone, and a total of around 570,000 appliances throughout Germany.

This timely conversion is absolutely essential because L gas production in north-western Germany and the Netherlands will decline over the coming years. H gas, on the other hand, is available internationally in large quantities. The switch to high calorific gas H gas will therefore ensure a high level of supply security in the long term.

The different properties of H gas also require domestic gas appliances and systems in the region to be adapted. Across Germany, some 5 million gas appliances will have to be switched to H gas by 2030. All affected customers will be informed by their local network operator in writing ahead of the actual changeover date. The conversion costs for residential and commercial customers will be borne by the network operator and will be included in the network tariffs as a levy charged across the whole of Germany.