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Connections to the gas transmission system increasingly difficult

The Minister of Energy restricts access to the gas transmission system by altering the regulations concerning technical requirements and making the possibility of connecting to transmission system conditioned upon a type of operations run, network diameter and rated power.

On 8 February 2017, another amendment of the resolution of the Minister of Economic Affairs dated 2 July 2010 on detailed terms of the operation of gas system (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2014, item 1059, as amended) will enter into force. The amendment concerns technical requirements, set forth in a schedule to the resolution, concerning the conditions for connection to the gas transmission system.

As a result of the change of the resolution:
• in terms of the entities belonging to connection group A (entities the devices, installations and networks of which will be directly connected to the transmission system or high pressure distribution system, save for entities belonging to connection group C) – only the following devices and installations will be allowed to be connected to the gas transmission system:
– with a rated power of at least 45 000 m3/h, unconnected to gas distribution system;
– used only to power vehicles with natural gas, irrespective of their power,
however, the devices and installations of both above categories can be connected only to a transmission system of less than DN 1300,
• in terms of entities belonging to connection group C (entities dealing with transmission and distribution of gaseous fuels, their production, processing or extraction, warehousing gaseous fuels and liquefaction and regasification of liquefied natural gas) dealing with transmission or distribution – only devices and installations which are used to transmit gaseous fuels will be allowed to be connected to gas transmission system of DN 1300 and higher.

In accordance with the regulations before amendment, devices, networks or installations belonging to entities from connection group A could be connected to gas transmission system if their rated power was at least 5 000 m3/h (without any requirements regarding the diameter of the network), and as regards connecting entities belonging to connection group C, technical requirements whereby the possibility of connecting to a transmission network would be dependent on the network diameter or rated power were not specified.

The amending regulation also provides for a transitional measure, where applications for connection submitted before the date of entry into force of the amendment will be processed in accordance with the regulations applicable before the changes. It should be, however, noted that in accordance with the applicable Instruction of the Transmission System Operation and Maintenance, the date of application submission is the date of receiving a complete application by Operator Systemu Przesyłowego GAZ-SYSTEM S.A. (point 5.3.10 of the Instruction of the Transmission System Operation and Maintenance).

Summing up, the above outlined change is significant for entities belonging to connection group A and C, dealing with distribution, which intend to connect to a transmission system. The former, unless they power vehicles with natural gas, may only do this if they reached rated power of no less than 45 000 m3/h and have not been connected to distribution network on the condition that they want to be connected to a network of less than DB 1300. The latter as well as entities powering vehicles with natural gas may only be connected to transmission network of less than DN 1300.