German gas grid firms amend plans to reflect Russia-Ukraine war

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A worker checks a unit at Uniper's Bierwang gas storage facility near the Bavarian town of Kraiburg am Inn, Germany, June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

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FRANKFURT, July 6 (Reuters) - German gas pipeline companies on Wednesday said they have amended rolling 2022-2032 investment plans for grid expansions to provide for changes to gas flows as a consequence of Russia cutting exports.

"The changed situation requires to a much larger extent a diversification of our energy sources and a faster change from fossil gas to green and climate-neutral gases like hydrogen," said the head of the gas network companies - known as FNB - Thomas Goessmann.

FNB members include Gascade Gastransport, Ontras Gastransport and Open Grid Europe and Thyssengas, where Goessman is chairman of the board.

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Prior to the war, which has lead to an escalation of economic threats and counter threats, FNB's long-term planning reflected dwindling regional gas reserves and was being held publicly because gas transport is paid for by consumers via regulated fees.

It said that hydrogen was gaining more traction now as a form of energy to replace fossil gas from Russia.

German and European Union hydrogen strategies also seek to combine recovery from the impact of COVID-19 with climate protection. read more

FNB said that there were declared intentions to transport 165 terawatt hours (TWh) of German hydrogen production by 2032, 90% of which could be connected to suitable pipelines at that stage.

Its projections showed that a 7,600-8,500 km hydrogen grid could be needed at a cost of 8-10 billion euros ($8.2-$10.2 billion).

FNB is also planning for the integration of more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to supplement Russian pipeline supplies on the networks.

Connecting new LNG reception terminals at Brunsbuettel, Stade, Rostock and Wilhlemshaven with consumers onshore could cost 4.4-4.6 billion euros in the 10-year period, it said. read more

FNB also said that it needed to plan for a partial reversal of classic east-to-west directions on continental Europe's long-distance pipelines which requires technical changes.

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Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Alexandra Hudson

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