Natural Gas Transmission System Operator

Biogas

Biogas is a type of renewable fuel. Produced from food waste, manure or agricultural residues, biogas is a part of the circular economy considered one of the most advanced forms of renewable energy and has been actively developed in many European countries. Biogas is produced from biodegradable waste, much of which is still landfilled. As waste decomposes in landfills, it releases not only CO2, but also methane gas, which depletes the ozone layer and accelerates climate change. The use of biogas production facilities prevents these gases from getting into the environment and generates renewable energy in the form of clean electricity, heat, and fuel for vehicles. 
 
Interest in investing in biogas production has been growing rapidly in Lithuania. Biogas can be fed into or transported through the natural gas system. Large industrial companies and new market participants have been actively exploring the possibility of installing biogas plants, connecting them to the gas transmission system and supplying the biogas produced to the domestic and foreign markets by participating in the trade of green gas Guarantees of origin (GO). The integration of biogas into the common energy system is now a key energy objective in European countries and therefore a major future opportunity for Amber Grid's customers. 
 
The Law on Alternative Fuels approved in 2021 has strengthened the development potential of Lithuania’s biogas sector. It aims to achieve that by 2030 renewable energy use in the transport sector accounts for 15% by increasing vehicle electrification, promoting the use of gaseous fuels and hydrogen gas, and increasing requirements for biofuel blending. This will encourage investors to build biogas plants, connect them to the gas transmission network and produce green energy. 
 
Connecting a biogas plant to the gas transmission system may require installing an additional section of gas pipeline from the network to the production facility. Finding a land plot and obtaining a consent of residents to building a new energy production facility and the necessary infrastructure on all land plots between the biogas plant and the gas transmission system is another important step. 
 
We are interested in the development of biogas which can be fed into or transported via the natural gas transmission system in Lithuania, so if you are planning to develop such a biogas business, feel free to consult with us.
 
 
 

Connecting biogas facilities to the gas transmission system

 
Biogas that meets the specified requirements can be supplied to the natural gas transmission or distribution systems. 
 
 
The map below illustrates the gas transmission system in Lithuania: 
 
 
The gas transmission system is a network of gas transmission pipelines between cities and settlements. The gas pressure in the transmission system is up to 54 bar (bar).
 
The Lithuanian gas transmission system operator (TSO) Amber Grid advises on all issues related to the connection of facilities to the transmission system, including:
 
  • the submission of applications
  • connection conditions
  • connection agreements
  • connection design
  • implementation of contract works.
 
Detailed information on the gas transmission system developed in the country – the pipelines built, the system objects and the nearby land plots – is available on the online map database REGIA.  
 
Gas distribution systems are located in cities where natural gas is used. Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius AB (Energy Distribution Operator) consults on all matters relating to the connection of facilities to the distribution system. Gas pressure in distribution systems is up to 16 bar (bar).
 
 

What do I need to know when preparing to connect a biogas plant to the gas transmission system?

 
 
  • Legislation regulating construction and land management processes may set restrictions on the location of biogas production facilities. Therefore, discussing the possibility of building a biogas plant not only with TSO, but also with specialized design organizations is important.
  • The composition of the produced biogas, which can be supplied to or transported via the natural gas system, must meet the requirements for the quality of natural gas approved by Order No 1-194 of the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania of 4 October 2013 (version of Order No. 1-254 of the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania of 20 August 2020). 
  • Complying with the requirements for the quality of natural gas is necessary. Taking into account the quality requirements of natural gas, the producer of biogas can request the TSO to clarify the composition of biogas accepted into the transmission system. A request can be made to increase the limit value of oxygen (O2) to 0.5 mole percent and/or of hydrogen (H2) – to 2 mole percent. In such a case, the TSO will assess the specific technical safety criteria of the transmission system and the compliance with accounting standards at the place of connection of the biogas plant to the transmission system. According to the above criteria and requirements, the TSO can set restrictions on the conditions of connection to the transmission system. Generally, the TSO assesses the impact of the change in gas composition on the transmission systems of Latvia, Russia, Poland and users of the transmission system of Lithuania.
You can connect your biogas plant to the gas transmission system. The following are the key steps to be taken to do that:
 
  • The owner of a biogas production facility selects and agrees with the TSO on the point of connection to the gas transmission system, whereto the TSO shall build a branch of the main gas distribution network necessary for connection. The owner pays the TSO a connection fee – the cost of construction of the gas pipeline branch and the related costs.
  • We recommend choosing the connection point as close to the gas distribution pipeline as possible. It is necessary to take into account that there is a 25-meter-wide protection zone along the pipeline, where construction works are restricted. When constructing a long section required for connection, the connection fee increases. 
  • In the section of the gas pipeline required for connection, the TSO shall install a closing device, which can be closed or opened remotely from its system control centre as necessary. The operation of the closing device requires electrical energy. The greater the distance where the electricity distribution line needs to be built, the higher is the connection fee. 
  • A road (e.g. dirt road) shall be installed for access to the closing device. If the road to be installed is long, works of its installation may affect the connection fee. 
  • When planning to install a section for the connection of a biogas plant to the gas transmission system, we do not recommend building it through a forest, near residential areas and crossing many private land plots. This increases the design time, the dissatisfaction of residents and the connection fee. 
  • When building a section necessary for connection, it is not always possible to choose the shortest route, as legal requirements, such as distances to buildings, roads, power lines, etc., must be taken into account.
  • We recommend to take into account specific local conditions, such as soil, surface, terrain, land plot size, road condition, local infrastructure, development prospects and social impact of the plant (noise, smell, visual pollution) when choosing a location for the construction and connection of a biogas production plant. 
 

Preliminary connection rates 

 
Having conducted a market analysis and based on the estimates of the actually conducted works, AB Amber Grid set preliminary rates for the connection of biogas plants to the natural gas transmission system (excluding VAT). The connection fee includes the following works/ services: 
 
  • preparation of a technical work design of the construction works;
  • supervision of the execution of the project and making the necessary changes to the technical work design in the course of the construction contract works;
  • supply of materials and equipment;
  • general construction works;
  • works of dismantling-installation of technological gas equipment and pipeline, testing them and connecting to the operating gas pipeline;
  • telemetry (SCADA) installation works;
  • electric engineering works (installation of electricity, protective earthing systems);
  • works of passive corrosion protection, gas pipeline re-insulation;
  • works of arrangement of the land plot. All the necessary works of installation/reconstruction/restoration of other engineering infrastructure;
  • connection works;
  • other works and services (surveying, geology, pipeline desurfacing, construction site set-up and maintenance, documentation and obtaining a deed/ declaration of completion of construction);

 

Method of connection

Length of the gas pipeline branch being built, m

20

30

50

80

90

100

200

Price of connection to one* main gas transmission pipeline line, EUR thousand excluding VAT

115,0

130,0

160,0

210,0

225,0

240,0

400,0

Price of connection to two main gas transmission pipeline lines, EUR thousand excluding VAT

142,5

157,5

187,5

237,5

252,5

267,5

427,5

* in this case, there would be a higher probability of gas flow interruption than in the case of connection to two lines
 
Please note that the preliminary connection rates are indicative and non-binding. Having received a request from a biogas producer to connect a biogas production facility to the natural gas transmission system, the preliminary connection fee will be adjusted on a case-by-case basis. The exact price for the connection of biogas facilities to the natural gas transmission system will only be known after holding a public procurement procedure and signed a contract with the successful contractor.
 
Please be informed that in accordance with amendments to Article 32 of the Law on Energy from Renewable Sources of the Republic of Lithuania (XIV-1169 amendments to the Law on Energy from Renewable Sources of the Republic of Lithuania No XI-1375 ), which will take effect on 1 November 2022, a biogas producer shall have the right to design and/or construct (install) and perform works in the gas system on behalf of the gas transmission system operator, having agreed with the gas transmission system operator thereon, in the manner and on the terms and conditions set out in the contract of the biogas producer's service of connecting biogas production facilities to the gas system.  
 
The preliminary connection conditions are available here
 
To download the application for connecting a facility of a new gas undertaking (a new natural gas system, direct pipeline, an LNG terminal connection or a biogas production facility) to the transmission system, click here.
 
 

Maximum calculated capacities of the pipeline branch 

 
The maximum capacity of the gas inlet to the transmission system (the term “flow rate” is used in hydraulic calculations) is expressed in m3/h and depends on the metering system installed by a new gas system owner, the gas compressor and the technical characteristics of the pipeline branch (diameter, length, number of bends, etc.). 
 
It should be noted that the maximum excess gas pressure at the connection point is 54 bar. The owner of the new gas system must supply gas at a higher pressure than that at the connection point via the branch line from the biogas production plant.
 
The table contains indicative non-binding information on the maximum calculated technical capacities (flow rates) - (m3/h) for different pipeline diameters and a certain length of the gas pipeline branch, recalculated to standard conditions with a gas pressure of 1.01325 bar and a gas temperature of 0oC:
 
 

Pipeline branch diameter, mm

Pipeline branch length, m

Maximum pipeline branch flow rate at the connection point pressure of 25.2 bar*, m3/h

Maximum pipeline branch flow rate at the connection point pressure of 54 bar**, m3/h

DN 50

100

1 295

1 957

DN 80

100

4 449

6 715

DN 100

100

7 981

12 042

* - Indicative flow rate under non-ideal conditions. The actual flow rate depends on the geometry of the gas pipeline branch (curves, bends), roughness, and the actual pressure in the system.
** - Indicative flow rate under ideal conditions. The actual flow rate depends on the geometry of the pipeline branch (curves, bends), roughness, and the actual pressure in the system.
 

 

 
 
 
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