Regional planning procedure successfully completed in Saxony

State authorities in Saxony approve preferred route – New pipeline project well on schedule

Kassel. The state authorities in Saxony have completed and approved the regional planning procedure for the section of the European Gas Pipeline Link (EUGAL) just under 110 kilometers in length which passes through Saxony. Revealing the results of the regional planning procedure, the state authorities in Saxony said that the preferred route proposed by GASCADE complies with regional planning requirements. The fact that long sections of the preferred route follow the existing, approved OPAL pipeline corridor played a pivotal role in the decision.

The official procedure will serve as a basis for making decisions during the subsequent planning approval procedure. This will begin in the middle of the year and will likewise be carried out by the state authorities in Saxony (Chemnitz and Dresden office). The new pipeline will make the natural gas transport network at the heart of Europe more robust and flexible. EUGAL will extend over a length of some 485 kilometers, running from the Baltic Sea through Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg to southern Saxony. At the border with the Czech Republic, it will then be connected to the network of the Czech pipeline network operator Net4Gas. The first natural gas will be transported at the end of 2019.

“With the completion of the regional planning procedure in Saxony, we’ve taken a big step forward,” said Ludger Hümbs, Chief Project Manager at GASCADE, the project organizer. The Kassel-based pipeline network operator has a 2,400 kilometer pipeline system which is based on the highest technical standards and into which the EUGAL is integrated. “The new pipeline will not only strengthen the European natural gas supply. Thanks to the new network links and the facility to control gas flows more flexibly, we’ll also increase supply security in Germany,” said Hümbs.

Work to build the pipeline is due to begin in the middle of 2018. The section in Saxony which is around 110 kilometers long will run from Lampertswalde as far as Deutschneudorf where EUGAL will be connected to the system belonging to the Czech network operator Net4Gas. In order to minimize the space required, the pipeline will be laid as close as possible parallel to the OPAL gas pipeline which went into operation in 2011 or other transport pipelines. Thanks to optimum planning, the EUGAL will be a single string pipeline throughout Saxony.

Before the start of the regional planning procedure, people in Saxony were given an initial overview of the project. The GASCADE project team presented the plans for the gas pipeline during public information events in Coswig and the Deutschneudorf district. “The development of infrastructure is a community task. Entering into dialog with local residents provides an opportunity to involve the public and gain important information for the planning process,” said Marco Breiding, the route engineer responsible for Saxony. For example, it was also possible to decide on the site for the future gas pressure regulation and measuring system (GPRM system) in Deutschneudorf.

With the new pipeline, GASCADE is responding to the growing demand for gas and gas transport capacity in Europe. The European network development plan TYNDP expects an annual shortfall in imports of up to 183 billion cubic meters in 2035. At the same time, binding bookings for new transport capacities as part of the Europe-wide market survey more capacity show that the long-term transport requirements between Germany and its neighbors are in some cases well above the available technical capacities.