Interconnector Infrastructure

IUK started operations in October 1998

IUK operates the Interconnector pipeline, which runs from Bacton in the United Kingdom to Zeebrugge in Belgium. The pipeline is a vital connection in the supply chain across Europe for the import and export of gas.

Bacton is home to some of the largest gas reception terminals in the UK, national transmission system operated by National Grid Gas and the UK continental shelf production, whilst Zeebrugge is directly connected to the Fluxys Belgium gas transmission system, providing IUK's customers with access to the extensive European gas network.


The Terminals

The Interconnector system was originally designed for the export of gas from the UK. Compression facilities were later installed at the Bacton terminal to raise the pressure of gas taken from the UK grid for transportation via the sub-sea line to Zeebrugge.

The Bacton Terminal consists of four 27 MW gas turbines, which provide the power for the compressors at Bacton to pump up to 58 million cubic metres of gas per day at pressures of up to 140 bar.

The Zeebrugge Terminal consists of four compressors driven by electric motors. These have the capability to pump 74 million cubic metres of gas per day at pressures of up to 147 bar. Zeebrugge is operated remotely from the Bacton terminal, although if needed, it can be run locally.

IUK's head office is located in London.


The Pipeline

The Interconnector pipeline itself runs beneath the southern North Sea. It is 235km in length and slightly over a metre in diameter (1016mm or 40 inches) and operates at pressures up to 147 bar.

The pipe is made of carbon steel with an epoxy lining to smooth the walls and enhance pipeline efficiency. A coating of asphalt enamel protects the external surface with additional cathodic protection provided by aluminium "bracelet" anodes. A concrete coating provides extra weight to keep the pipeline stable on the seabed.

Our operations team work alongside Lloyd's Register and others to carry out regular inspections and maintenance to optimise the pipeline's efficiency and availability.


Technical Capacities

The attached document provides more details on the maximum technical capacity of the Interconnector.

GWh/d values are based on an assumed GCV of 11.5 kWh/Nm3 for IBT entry/exit and IZT entry/exit.

Information on booked and available capacity for the next 15 gas years can be found on IUK's Electronic Data Platform, and on the ENTSOG Transparency Platform.


Download the maximum technical capacity document

Technical Capacities kWh/h GWh/d
IBT Entry 27,153,206 651.7
IBT Exit 33,476,006 803.4
IZT Entry 33,476,006 803.4
IZT Exit 27,153,206 651.7
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