Dutch-UK subsea gas interconnector set for inspection program

UK-Netherlands subsea gas interconnector set for inspection program

An inspection program of the Balgzand-Bacton Pipeline (BBL) between the Netherlands and the UK is set to be carried out next month after the completion of previously announced maintenance.

Courtesy of BBL Company

As announced, BBL Company’s annual planned maintenance period of the BBL facilities will take place during six gas days starting from 5 September at 06:00 CEST and ending on 11 September at 06:00.

Following this, an internal pipeline cleaning and inspection program will be conducted, said to be an essential activity for maintaining pipeline integrity and future gas transportation services.

This inspection program will start on 11 September at 06:00 CEST and is planned to be completed by 25 September at 06:00.

During the inspection program, pipeline cleaning and inspection gauges are sent through the BBL pipeline whilst the pipeline is under normal physical reverse flow conditions (GB > NL).

The physical reverse flow capacity of the pipeline will be technically maximized at 7.0 GWh/h for both the Day Ahead auctions as well as the upcoming monthly auction of September 2023. During the inspection, the BBL pipeline is physically unable to facilitate forward flow gas flows (NL > GB) which means that the Forward Flow capacity will be technically limited at 0 GWh/h.

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BBL Company was established in 2004 as a partnership between Gasunie BBL (60%), Uniper Ruhrgas BBL (20%) and Fluxys BBL (20%).

At the beginning of this year, Spanish energy company Enagás reached an agreement with Uniper to acquire its 20% stake in BBL Company for approximately €75 million.

The bidirectional 235-kilometer subsea gas interconnection has been operational since 18 July 2019 with a maximum capacity of 15 bcm/y of direct flow between Balgzand in the Netherlands and Bacton in the UK and 5 bcm/y in the reverse direction.