Across our National Transmission System (NTS), gas losses occur for various reasons, including planned and emergency venting or through unforeseen circumstances (known as 'fugitive emissions').
We’ve been looking at ways to potentially reduce the emissions from our compressor equipment, using innovative solutions that can capture gas releases for re-use across the network.
The research and development activities were conducted through Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) funding followed by a demonstration proposal entering the Strategic Innovation Funding (SIF) process, under the Methane Reduction from Gas Equipment (Ch4rge) project. We carried out a SIF Discovery feasibility project to review the strategic approach and business case for deploying these systems across our network, while further considering the technology solutions and evaluating each on safety and technical merit for future project phases.
Upon conclusion of this Discovery project, it was identified that the technologies were closer to deployment than innovation, so the project proceeded with alternative Use It or Lose It (UIOLI) funding, to enable a reopener to be developed to deploy the systems directly onto the operational network. Under certain circumstances, a reopener allows for a change in an Ofgem license agreement for a specific price control period. Using this approach, we carried out a detailed selection of suitable sites and compressor units, taking into consideration the compressor venting amounts, seal leakage rates and total run hours.
The project was incorporated into a reopener application - NGGT Methane Reopener Application Compressor Machinery Train - and in December 2022 we applied for funding over a four-year period, for use in the RIIO-2 price control (which lasts from 2021 until 2026), to further develop and trial these emissions capture solutions on the NTS.
Planning has begun with the National Gas Construction Project team to start the conceptual Front End Engineering Design (FEED) process, alongside the selected Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), to install two technology solutions – Combined Gas Recompression and Zero Loss Seals – across three of our compressor stations.