Conexus to develop Baltic centralized biomethane feed point

21 March 2023

Conexus has identified four biomethane entry point locations in Latvia, with the first one scheduled to be established in Džūkste. (Map: Conexus.)

Latvia’s Conexus Baltic Grid announced in mid-March that it would develop a centralized feed point for biomethane entering the country’s gas transmission system. This will be the first such biomethane feed point in the Baltic region.

Conexus said four biomethane entry point locations had been identified in Latvia to date, with the first one set to be located in Džūkste, allowing to serve up to 20 biomethane producers within a 50-60 km (31-37 mile) radius.

“Currently, there are only a few potential biomethane production facilities in Latvia that are close to the gas transmission system and where it would be economically feasible to install a direct connection to the system, so to ensure maximum development of Latvia’s biomethane production potential, Conexus will build specially designed biomethane entry points,” stated Aleksejs Batrakovs, the head of technical development and investments at Conexus’ Technical Development Department.

The company is proposing a “virtual pipeline” approach, which would require biomethane producers to compress their output to 300 bar and load it onto mobile gas containers. These can then be transported by truck to a biomethane entry point connected to the gas transmission system. According to Conexus’ statement, this approach would give all biomethane producers – including those whose operations are far from the gas transmission system – an equal opportunity to access it. Batrakovs also noted that biomethane producers would still have the option to connect directly to the interconnected gas system.

Under Latvian regulations, feed-in points would be equipped for the safe feed of biomethane into the transmission system, as well as for metering, quality control and remote control.

Conexus’ announcement came shortly after it also reported a 20% drop in natural gas volumes transported in 2022. The transmission system operator (TSO) attributed this to high gas prices, which it said had caused the volume of gas consumed by Latvian users to fall to 8.8 TWh, down by a third compared to 2021. The gas price increase also led to a drop in electricity generation at the country’s largest thermal power plants, Conexus added. The gas storage segment also performed better according to the TSO.

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