Natural gas transmission in Belgium

Capacity: well over 110 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year

Fluxys Belgium is appointed as the independent transmission system operator in Belgium and is responsible for building and operating the infrastructure for high-pressure transmission. The Fluxys grid has some 4,100 km of pipelines in Belgium. It is used to transmit natural gas for consumption in Belgium and for border-to-border transmission of natural gas to other end-user markets. Every year, Fluxys transports around 19 billion cubic metres of natural gas for consumption in Belgium. Long-term booked capacity for border-to-border transmission accounts for about 90 billion cubic metres per year for existing infrastructure and about 10 billion cubic metres per year for infrastructure that is under construction or yet to be built. By way of comparison, total natural gas consumption in the 27 EU Member States is around 500 billion cubic metres per year.

 

Pivotal role in ensuring security of supply

Fluxys plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the security of the natural gas supply:

  • In Belgium, the Fluxys natural gas transmission network connects 17 distribution system operators, who are in turn responsible for distributing natural gas to homes and SMEs. In addition, around 250 industrial end consumers and power stations are connected to the Fluxys grid.
  • Its high proportion of border-to-border transmission makes the Fluxys grid a vital link for guaranteeing security of supply in North-Western Europe.

 

Crossroads for transmission flows in North-Western Europe

With 18 interconnection points with neighbouring natural gas transmission systems, Fluxys has developed its grid into a central crossroads for gas flows in North-Western Europe:

  • transmission of Dutch and Norwegian natural gas to France, Spain and Italy
  • transmission of British natural gas to continental Europe
  • transmission of Russian natural gas to countries including the United Kingdom
  • transmission of natural gas to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • natural gas is also passed on to other end-user markets from the LNG terminal in Zeebrugge.

The Fluxys grid’s role as a crossroads for gas flows from various sources also offers grid users a wide range of arbitrage opportunities on the ZTP, Zeebrugge Trading Point.

 

Key role of the Zeebrugge area

The Zeebrugge area is a cornerstone of security of supply in North-Western Europe. Together with Emden in northern Germany, Zeebrugge is the main supply area for natural gas in North-Western Europe, its reception capacity corresponding to around 10% of the total border capacity needed to supply the European Union.

 

Preparations for conversion to high-calorific natural gas

The gradual depletion of the Groningen natural gas field (which produces low-calorific natural gas, or L-gas) has prompted the Dutch government to completely phase out L-gas exports to Belgium and France between 2024 and 2030 and to Germany between 2020 and 2030.

Against this backdrop, new sources need to be dipped into and Fluxys is, thanks to its activities in Europe, well placed to play a key role in that regard:

  • Each year, Germany is supplied with around 20 billion cubic metres of L-gas from the Netherlands. Additional volumes of H-gas could be transmitted via the Belgian grid to Germany from the Zeebrugge and Dunkirk LNG terminals and the landing points for pipeline gas in Zeebrugge. In addition, the reverse flow project and the potential extension of the NEL pipeline will considerably strengthen Germany’s supply position.
  • Currently, around 5 billion cubic metres of L-gas is supplied to Belgium each year. Synergrid, the Belgian federation of electricity and gas system operators, has drawn up a technical methodology and road map for the conversion in cooperation with Fluxys Belgium and the distribution system operators.
  • The Belgian grid also acts as a corridor for channelling 5 billion cubic metres of L-gas a year to France. Again, Fluxys is well placed to ensure the transit of H-gas to France.


To the Fluxys Belgium website

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