|THE INTERCONNECTOR SYSTEM
The Interconnector system is more than just a pipeline.
Since the UK and Belgian gas transmission systems operate at similar
pressures, compressors are required to ‘pump’ the gas from
one system to the other. In addition, gas heaters are required to ensure
that the temperature of gas flowing into Belgium or the UK does not
fall below a specified limit.
(1) Filtering: Gas flowing from the UK system passes
through filters which remove any dust particles which could damage the
(1) Filtering: Gas flowing from the Belgian system passes through strainers which remove any particles which could damage the compressors.
(2) Compression: The compressors increase the gas pressure to around 140 bar.
(3) Cooling: A bank of ‘fin-fan’ coolers, similar to those at IBT, lowers the temperature of the compressed gas.
(4) Sub-sea Pipeline: The gas enters the sub-sea pipeline and flows the 235km to IBT, driven by the pressure difference along the pipeline.
(5) Filtering: At the IBT terminal, the gas is filtered to remove any particles picked up in the line.
(6) Pressure Reduction: The pressure is reduced across a valve to match the UK system pressure.
(7) Heating: Boilers and heat exchangers are used to ensure the temperature of gas arriving complies with the UK system specification.
(8) Metering: Gas leaving the IBT terminal is metered
before entering the UK system.
At IZT each compressor is connected to a variable speed drive. This
comprises a converter transformer, which controls the voltage and frequency
of power supplied to a 35 MW synchronous electric motor. This provides
a capability to generate a pressure of up to 140 bar and to flow up
to 74 million cubic metres of gas per day in reverse flow mode.
Operating at the maximum allowable pressure at IBT or IZT with normal connecting network pressures, calculations based on the Panhandle B equation give maximum physical flow rates in Forward Flow (IBT to IZT) of around 20 bcm/y and around 25.5 bcm/y in Reverse Flow.
On occasions when the relative pressures of the connecting UK and Belgian
networks permit, an additional capacity of up to 3 bcm/y in either direction
can be made available on an interruptible basis.
OPERATING CONDITIONS REQUIREMENTS
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