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Czech gas system infrastructure

Medium-term horizon

In the Capacity4Gas auction, through which all of the incremental capacity for the period of 2020-2039 has been successfully sold, the projected increase in transit via the Czech Republic in the northwest-southeast direction ranges between 30 to 40 bcm per year, representing in fact a 100% increase. This is bound to considerably strengthen the position of the Czech TSO on the market. The Capacity4Gas project incorporates a number of component structures with the most important including: the recently completed DN 1400 pipeline between the new BTS Deutschneudorf and Přimda, construction of the new Otvice compressor station and modifications at the BTS Lanžhot and Hora Svaté Kateřiny. Output capacities from the transmission system to regional distribution systems are sufficient for the current level of consumption, with the exception of North Moravia. This region is supplied by the DN 700 pipeline of the intrastate transmission system whose capacity is inadequate.

After many years of delays, the connection of the gas storage in Dolní Bojanovice to the Czech transmission system now appears to be a real possibility after 2021. Nevertheless, particular attention should be devoted to the wording of the new Energy Act which is to allow for cross-border operation of the UGS. Despite these unique projects, no new storage capacities are likely to be created in view of the market situation. In the medium-term horizon, the situation on the market will continue to fluctuate in response to the implementation of transnational gas pipelines. Conversely, the transmission system will start to incorporate unconventional gas producers to a greater extent. The first pilot project should be launched by this autumn in Rapotín, with additional five projects, including the sewage treatment plant connection in Prague, in the works.

Long-term horizon

There is uncertainty as to the implementation of further development plans for the transmission system. Considering the geopolitical aspects of the source component of the gas sector, the development of larger-scale pipeline projects will primarily hinge on the hard-to-predict political decisions as well as on market requirements and the development of new technologies. With regard to the energy sector decarbonisation requirements, the decrease in the use of high-emission fossil fuels and the development of RES, a higher level of gas consumption can be anticipated to facilitate regulatory services in the electricity sector. However, as calculations and analyses show, it would be appropriate to create new gas storage capacities in response to the increasing gas consumption in the long-term. Even so, this strategically important sector will continue to be formed by market, rather than political, motives. There are a number of unused locations reserved for gas storage in the Czech Republic, which should fit the purpose. But given the current view of the risks involved (market flexibility), their eventual utilisation seems rather unlikely.

Neither can we expect any substantial increase in the production of conventional gas in the Czech Republic over the long-term; however, the source base will, to a greater degree, consist of alternative sources such as biomethane, synthetic methane and hydrogen. These will be injected primarily into high-pressure distribution systems, considered to be nearly complete at present, or into the transmission system. Alternative gases will assume a more important role in the source portfolio and, thanks to the ideas of sector coupling and the single European energy market, the gas sector will be increasingly interlinked with other energy segments (PS, the heating industry).

Table 15.1        Fixed capacity at border transfer stations



Table 15.2        Gas storage facilities in the Czech Republic