OGE completes its L-to-H-gas conversion activities scheduled for 2021
OGE has successfully completed its conversion activities from L-gas to H-gas scheduled for this year. In the OGE network area, some 260,000 gas appliances were converted to H-gas. In 2021, the company managed to increase the pace yet again: for the first time, more than 550,000 appliances across Germany were switched from L-gas to H-gas in one year.
Frank Harlacher, OGE’s L-to-H-gas conversion project manager, said: "2021 was a big test for the market area conversion project: in addition to the very high number of appliances, which the industry successfully tackled, the commissioning of the ZEELINK pipeline also created an essential prerequisite for the remaining activities and the L-to-H-gas conversion project as a whole. In this respect, we are optimistic about the coming years."
The 216 km ZEELINK pipeline is considered one of Germany’s largest infrastructure projects in recent years, with investments totalling some € 695 million. It was commissioned in May this year according to plan. ZEELINK is of central importance for the nationwide L-to-H-gas conversion project, as it will ensure the supply of H-gas to many areas that are still supplied with L-gas.
In the OGE network area, conversion activities are set to continue until 2029. The expansion of the gas transmission network will remain an important prerequisite for L-to-H-gas conversion in the coming years. OGE is currently building an 18 km pipeline known as EUSAL from Erftstadt to Euskirchen, which will supply H-gas to Euskirchen and neighbouring municipalities from 2022. For L-to-H-gas conversion in the Cologne and Leverkusen area from 2023 onwards, Nordrheinische Erdgastransportleitungsgesellschaft (NETG) is building the
23 km Voigtslach-Paffrath pipeline from Leverkusen to Bergisch Gladbach. In addition, preparations are currently underway for the construction of the ZEELINK compressor station in Legden.
Background: The timely switch from L-gas to H-gas is imperative because L-gas production in north-western Germany and the Netherlands is set to decline over the coming years. H-gas, on the other hand, is available internationally and thus also in large quantities for Germany. The switch to high calorific gas therefore ensures a high level of supply security in the long term.
The different properties of the H gas also require domestic gas appliances and systems in the region to be adapted. Across Germany, a total of 5.3 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. 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 Germany. The levy system ensures that even a large infrastructure project such as the L-to-H-gas conversion creates only a barely noticeable burden for the customer.