Gas pipeline operators across Europe work together to keep you safe
Brussels, 6 April 2020
Across the EU, gas transmission operators are adapting to the way they run their business during this unprecedented crisis to ensure their staff are safe, that essential supplies of gas are uninterrupted and to join the efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
Harald Stindl, President of Gas Transmission Europe (GTE)1, said “All European TSOs must ensure security of gas supply across borders at all times and especially right now during the crisis. In addition, many European countries rely heavily on natural gas for power generation. Priority therefore lies in business continuity: comprehensive protection of employees including extreme examples of base camps for dispatchers and measures for the reliable continuity of pipeline and compressor station operations.”
This is evident in the way that GTE members have responded to the crisis, exemplified by Andreas Rau, CEO and Managing Director of NET4GAS, a GTE member, as he explained how his business has adapted. “As operator of critical infrastructure in the Czech Republic, we are fully aware of the severity of the situation and of the responsibility to ensure uninterrupted gas flows. Our business is rather resilient to the crisis so that we are still able to perform well. Our staff has fully supported changes to their work and the management reacted quickly, with the interests of the staff and customers in mind.“
He further explained what changes have meant for his company, “Most administrative functions are currently covered under a home office regime, while operational activities continue under strict hygiene rules (such as social distancing and face masks). One of the most important functions is our 24/7 dispatching for which we have introduced specific rules aimed at a physical and geographical separation of the dispatching teams in order to minimise the risk of infection. In this respect, we are glad that we have consistently invested into a very robust IT infrastructure including a fully functional back-up dispatching centre.“
As Harald Stindl stated, “The high degree of digitisation, professionalism and emergency training that are part of normal gas transmission operations, together with continuous challenging of quality by regulators, are advantages to us being able to continue to deliver essential energy, despite the crisis. Furthermore, European TSOs are used to working closely together and supporting each other in high-risk situations, providing an additional safety margin.”
This is supported by Stephan Kamphues, President of ENTSOG,2 who said “TSOs across Europe are united in their efforts to manage the extra demands of the current crisis. Regional cooperation and coordination between TSOs play important roles in ensuring continued security of gas supply and handling emergencies – such as during the current crisis. Since 2014, European TSOs under the umbrella of ENTSOG have established specific Regional Coordination System for Gas Teams that provide operational expertise on an ad-hoc basis to TSOs, including providing relevant information to other stakeholders such as the European Commission and Member States. This assists to ensure the continued flow of gas throughout Europe.”
1 A column within Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).
2 ENTSOG is the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas
Note to editors
Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators active in gas transmission, gas storage and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking. GIE currently represents 69 member companies from 26 countries. GIE’s vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.
Photo credit : Baumgarten cross-border point, Austria – image courtesy of GasConnect. download original image here
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