The Interconnector Pipeline: A Key Link in Europe’s Gas Network
The Interconnector pipeline became operational in October 1998, providing a bi-directional link between the gas networks of the UK and mainland Europe. The 235 km line runs from Bacton in Norfolk to Zeebrugge in north west Belgium and has the capacity to transport 20 billion cubic metres per annum (bcm/y) in UK export mode and 8.5 bcm/y in UK import mode. At the time of construction, the export mode was approximately equal to one third of the UK gas market or twice the domestic Belgian market. An enhancement project is currently under way to increase the UK import capacity. The first phase of this project was completed in November 2005, doubling import capacity. The system has an ultimate import capability of 25 bcm/y.