Pursuant to Article L. 134-3 et L. 431-6-II of the Energy Code, operators of natural gas transmission network must submit annual investment programs to the Energy Regulation Commission (Commission de Régulation de l’Énergie) for approval. This aims to ensures that the necessary investments are made for the proper development of the networks and that access to them is transparent and non-discriminatory.
Regulated entity GRTgaz sent its 2021 investment program on November 2020 for approval. This included a program to reduce its methane emissions by 67% by 2030, based on the following four lines of action.
· Reduction of fugitive leaks from vents (improvements on seals and isolation valves);
· Recovery of gas from depressurization (recompression or cogeneration);
· Management of leaks from compressor packing systems (sealing improvements);
· Prevention of faults and accidents that could generate untimely safety constraints and lead to gas venting.
GRTgaz estimated this program would prevent the emission of 25kt of CO2 equivalent per year between 2020 and 2050, which would represent a cost of between €79 and €53 per tonne of CO2e (considering the expected lifespan of the assets involved).
The Energy Regulation Commission approved the expenses related to the most mature actions (elimination of fugitive leaks from vents and reduction of faults and accidents) as well as those aimed at testing new technologies (improvements at compression stations).