Natural Gas Transmission System Operator
 
Amber Grid, the Lithuanian gas transmission system operator, is responsible for the safe and reliable transmission of natural gas through high-pressure pipelines. The company operates a 2,285 km long network of high-pressure gas pipelines throughout Lithuania and manages 68 gas distribution and metering stations and two gas compressor stations. 
 
The Amber Grid system is interconnected with the gas transmission systems of four countries – Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Russia’s  Kaliningrad  region, the Klaipėda LNG terminal and the systems of Lithuania’s gas distribution operators. 
 
Lithuania’s well-developed gas transmission system serves as a regional corridor for the transmission of gas northwards to Latvia and southwards to Poland.
Natural gas transmission entails the transportation of gas through high-pressure pipelines to deliver gas to consumers.
 
The gas transmission system operated by Amber Grid consists of main gas pipelines, gas compressor stations, gas metering and distribution stations, pipeline corrosion protection equipment, data transmission and communication systems.
 

 

NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION SYSTEM

Transmission of natural gas (hereinafter referred to as “transmission”) is transportation of natural gas via gas transmission system mostly comprised of high-pressure pipelines, except for the production process pipeline network and part of the high-pressure gas pipelines mainly used for the local distribution of natural gas, designed for the delivery of natural gas to consumers, except for gas supply.

AB Amber Grid, as the operator of Lithuania’s natural gas transmission system, is in charge of the safe operation, maintenance and development of the transmission system. The transmission system is comprised of gas transmission pipelines, gas compressor stations, gas metering and distribution stations, cathodic protection systems installed to prevent corrosion of the pipeline, remote data transmission and telecommunication systems.

Basic elements of the transmission system:

Gas transmission pipelines Gas compressor stations Gas metering stations Gas distribution stations
2,285 km 2 stations 4 stations 64 stations

GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINES

The main gas pipeline network in Lithuania started to be developed in 1961.The most commonly used pipelines have a diameter of 700 mm, with the largest diameter of the pipelines in the Lithuanian network reaching up to 1,220 mm. Most of the transmission system has a design pressure of 54 bar.
 
With the construction of the Klaipėda LNG terminal, Lithuania has been able to feed most of the gas for Lithuanian and Baltic needs into the transmission system through the Klaipėda LNG terminal. In recent years, 65% of the gas needed has been supplied through the terminal. 

 

GAS COMPRESSOR STATIONS
 
The main purpose of gas compressor stations is to increase the pressure of the gas and to increase gas throughput so that large quantities of gas can be transported over long distances. It is common for gas compressor stations to be installed every few hundred kilometres. 
 
Panevėžys Gas Compressor Station (GCS)

The Panevėžys GCS was built in 1974 to transport natural gas to Riga, Klaipėda and Vilnius. The station is reversible, so changes in the direction of gas flows are possible. The station is equipped with seven reciprocating compressors. Total capacity is 7.7 MW.

Jauniūnai Gas Compressor Station (GCS)

The Jauniūnai GCS was installed in 2010. The station compresses natural gas and raises the gas pressure in the main gas pipeline to 54 bar. The station is equipped with three gas turbines with centrifugal gas compressors. Total capacity is 34.5 MW.

GAS METERING STATIONS

Kiemėnai Gas Metering Station (GMS)

The Kiemėnai GMS was built in 2005 to improve the reliability of natural gas supply. The station provides access to Latvia’s Inčukalns underground natural gas storage facility, which is owned by the Latvian gas transmission system operator Conexus Baltic Grid. The metering station is reversible, which means that metering of gas supplied in both directions – Lithuania-Latvia and Latvia-Lithuania – is possible. The station is designed to operate in an automatic mode and is equipped so as to enable the control and monitoring of its parameters from the company’s system control centre. The capacity from Lithuania to Latvia is 270,000 nm3 /h and from Latvia to Lithuania – 260,000 nm3 /h. By the end of 2023, the strategic ELLI project is planned to increase the capacity from Lithuania to Latvia to 448, 000 nm3 /h and from Latvia to Lithuania – to 443, 000 nm3 /h. 

Šakiai and Kotlovka Gas Metering Station (GMS)

The Šakiai GMS, built in 1994 on the border with Russia’s region – Kaliningrad – was reconstructed in 2009 and has a capacity of 480, 000 nm3 /h. Gas transit to the Kaliningrad is organised via Lithuania. Gas is supplied to the population of the Russian enclave in transit from Russia, via Belarus. The Kotlovka GMS on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border accounts for the gas in transit, which is transported through Lithuania and transferred to the Kaliningrad system via the Šakiai GMS.

Santaka Gas Metering and Pressure Regulation Station (GMPRS)

Following the completion of the strategic GIPL gas interconnection project between Lithuania and Poland, in 2021 the Santaka Gas Metering and Pressure Regulation Station was installed on the border with Poland. An important element of the GIPL pipeline, the Santaka GMPRS serves as the gateway of the Lithuanian gas transmission system to Europe. Gas delivered from European suppliers is metered at this hub, its calorific value is checked, and the pressure is adjusted to meet the needs of the system. Similarly, gas from Lithuania is transferred to Poland and other European countries via this point.

GAS DISTRIBUTION STATIONS

There are 64 gas distribution stations in Lithuania. Their main purpose is to reduce the pressure of the gas coming from the trunk gas pipelines to a pressure suitable for the gas distribution network, and to give it a specific smell. 

MAINTENANCE OF THE GAS TRANSMISSION SYSTEM

Scheduled repairs and maintenance work are being carried out to ensure the reliability, efficiency and safety of the main gas pipelines. The design, construction and operation of trunk gas pipelines are governed in detail by rules and regulations. Depending on the characteristics of the pipeline, its technological layout and the results of maintenance, additional focus is put on the trunk pipelines which pose the highest risk. Periodic pipeline inspections or internal diagnostics are carried out. Currently, 1,833 km of pipelines are adapted for internal diagnostics. By 2024, 80% of the main gas pipelines are expected to be retrofitted.  

For information on transmission system capacity click on the following link.

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