As the global technical manager of the Portuguese National Gas System, REN is the entity responsible for the security and continuity of the high-pressure gas service. REN develops and operates the Portuguese National high-pressure Gas Transmission Network, which, in addition to the whole of mainland Portugal, includes the interconnections with the Spanish transmission network, the liquefied natural gas terminal, and the underground gas storage facilities.
As the natural gas consumed in Portugal comes from other countries, part of it is received through the interconnections with Spain, through high-pressure gas pipelines, and part by sea, in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transported by methane carriers. REN - Gasodutos, the operator of the Portuguese National Gas Transmission Network, is responsible for the transmission between the various infrastructures and for routing high-pressure gas to combined-cycle power stations and other large industrial consumers, as well as to the delivery points to the distribution networks, from which most end consumers are supplied.
There are also distribution networks or isolated consumers supplied from Autonomous Gasification Units that receive LNG by means of tanker trucks that are refueled at the LNG terminal.
In underground storage facilities, high-pressure gas is stored in gaseous form in cavities created within saline massifs, allowing the gas to be stored for prolonged periods, thus ensuring adequate safety reserves.
The management of the gas system is increasingly challenging with the development of the markets, European integration, energy transition, and the integration of renewable gases. REN works every day to adapt and respond to new challenges.
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The gas infrastructure value chain (Transmission Network, Storage, and Regasification) integrates Planning, Investment, Operation, and Management of the system:
REN is responsible for planning studies on the evolution of the Portuguese National Gas System, to adapt network development plans to consumption forecasts. These studies must be sent to the competent authorities, without whose approval it is not possible to move forward to the investment stage. It is also REN’s legal obligation to collaborate in the preparation of official studies on the security of the country's gas supply, in a medium/long-term perspective.
The investment in the gas infrastructures, Transmission Network, LNG Terminal, and Underground Storage materialises the infrastructure evolution plans, accompanying the consumption growth and the gas expansion in the mainland territory as well as ensuring the necessary supply security and diversification conditions. The investment also guarantees the interconnection capacity with the Spanish system and, via the latter, with the European system, thus enabling adequate market integration.
REN Gasodutos operates the Portuguese National Transmission Network, which is made up of main pipelines, branch lines, and pipeline stations (pressure regulation and metering stations, sectioning valve stations, and derivation stations).
There are multiple entry points to the grid: the connection to the Sines Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal, two reversible interconnections with the Spanish high-pressure gas grid, in Campo Maior and in Valença, and also the connection point to the Carriço underground storage facility.
While the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal is operated by REN Atlântico, which receives LNG and stores it in the facility’s tanks for subsequent regasification and injection into the transmission grid, the Carriço underground storage facilities are operated by REN Armazenagem and enable gas to be injected into or extracted from the corresponding caverns.
The Operation has the task of keeping all equipment and systems operational, in order to meet high safety and service quality standards in an efficient manner.
REN Gasodutos, as the overall technical manager of the system, is responsible for ensuring, through the Dispatch Centre, the balance between supply and demand, as well as third-party access to the infrastructures, thus promoting efficient management of the high-pressure gas network.
The overall technical management of the system coordinates the operation of the Portuguese National Transmission Grid and of the distribution networks connected to it, namely the interconnection with international networks, but also the management of the underground storage infrastructures and of the LNG terminal.
European association of gas transmission system operators, created by European Regulation (EC) 715/2009
European Association of operators of gas transmission networks, underground gas storage and LNG terminals
International group of importers of liquefied natural gas