Dutch gas firm plans reductions in usage

A new nitrogen plant could enable less natural gas to be extracted

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By Jonny Bairstow

A Dutch company is preparing a new nitrogen plant it says will enable less natural gas to be extracted and used from the country’s Groningen field.

Gasunie Transport Services (GTS) says gas extraction from the region can be reduced to an initial figure of 12 billion cubic metres per year without jeopardising security of supply through a number of measures.

It says the most important of these is the construction of a new nitrogen plant near Zuidbroek – this would add nitrogen to high-calorific natural gas, making it suitable for low carbon domestic use.

The firm claims this could cut Groningen production by around seven billion cubic metres as soon as the plant comes into use in early 2022.

It adds the use of district heating grids and hybrid heat pumps could help reduce the demand for natural gas even further.

Gasunie is part of a project aiming to build a large-scale heating grid able to provide heat to one million households – it calculates this could produce annual savings of one billion cubic metres of gas.