Conexus: Rus­sia will not be able to sup­ply gas to Lat­vian con­sumers in cold weather

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«Weather ob­served in the past week has proven that Rus­sia is tech­no­log­i­cally un­able to sup­ply gas to Lat­vian con­sumers un­der con­di­tions of ex­treme cold,» says Conexus Baltic Grid chair­man Zane Kotāne.

Conexus Baltic Grid’s man­aged un­der­ground gas stor­age fa­cil­ity in Inčukalns works at full ca­pac­ity. The man­age­ment of the com­pany says it is able to se­cure clients’ de­mand for gas only thanks to ex­pe­ri­ence of spe­cial­ists work­ing for the com­pany and pre­vi­ously auc­tioned ac­cess to the un­der­ground fa­cil­ity.

But the cold weather Latvia has been experiencing for the past week has con­firmed the com­pany’s pre­vi­ously ex­pressed opinion – the only way to en­sure sta­ble gas sup­ply in win­ter is fill­ing the stor­age fa­cil­ity in au­tumn, as men­tioned by Conexus Baltic Grid rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

«Air tem­per­a­ture is not the low­est Latvia has ex­pe­ri­enced through­out its his­tory. Although the cold weather has lasted for a short while so far, it still proves that gas sup­ply from Rus­sia will not be pos­si­ble un­der very cold weather. As it can be con­cluded from de­mand, Rus­sia is not only un­able to sup­ply gas to Latvia from a tech­ni­cal per­spec­tive but also un­able to do this for its Es­to­nian and Rus­sian clients. This means the only so­lu­tion for Latvia’s and wider re­gion’s sta­ble gas sup­ply is fill­ing the gas stor­age fa­cil­ity in au­tumn. Com­pared to pre­vi­ous years, his­tor­i­cally the small­est vol­ume of gas was pumped into the stor­age fa­cil­ity in 2017,» said Kotāne.

She says that reg­u­la­tions have to be ap­proved as quickly as pos­si­ble to en­sure in­volve­ment of the sys­tem’s op­er­a­tor, users and traders to en­sure sta­ble gas sup­ply. «This mod­er­ately cold win­ter week prove that it is nec­es­sary to re­turn to the mat­ter re­gard­ing cre­ation of gas re­serves in Latvia. Now is the time to knock on our neigh­bours’ doors and ask them to par­tic­i­pate in for­ma­tion of a se­cure nat­u­ral gas sup­ply sys­tem, be­cause Euro­pean reg­u­la­tions al­low mem­ber states to de­velop uni­fied sup­ply models,» said Kotāne.

On Tues­day, 27 Fe­bru­ary, de­mand for gas from the stor­age fa­cil­ity reached 166,000 MWh. Re­quests were re­ceived for sup­plies to four coun­tries – Latvia, Lithua­nia, Es­to­nia, and Rus­sia.

«It should be said that such a se­cu­rity so­lu­tion was pre­pared and in­tro­duced thanks to the ex­pe­ri­ence of the com­pany’s spe­cial­ists and timely anal­y­sis of so­lu­tions em­ployed by other coun­tries,» Conexus Baltic Grid con­tinue.

While in Fe­bru­ary the stor­age fa­cil­ity’s abil­ity to en­sure out­put of 190,000 MWh, the cur­rent po­ten­tial out­put is al­ready be­low that – 165,000 MWh, be­cause the fa­cil­ity’s daily out­put is di­rectly de­pen­dent on the re­main­ing vol­ume of gas in the fa­cil­ity. More than half of the gas vol­ume in stor­age is the last lot for the guar­an­tees auc­tion. With­out it, IGSF’s ca­pac­ity would be a mere 81,000 MWh, which is not enough to se­cure de­mand in Latvia, the com­pany adds.

Ieva Leiniša/LETA

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