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Our Research & Development

With RICE (Research and Innovation Center for Energy), GRTgaz positions itself on the cutting-edge of R&D and Innovation to benefit security, operational excellence of gas infrastructure and the energy transition.

All the power of R&D at GRTgaz is concentrated within RICE, a Research & Development and Innovation entity that combines its cutting-edge equipment and technical means with a wide range of expertise. RICE offers high-performance services in energy markets. These services respond to 3 challenges: industrial security, operational excellence and the energy transition.

GRTgaz pursues a strong ambition: to become an operator committed firmly to the energy transition and a recognized leader in gas infrastructure in Europe.

To achieve these objectives and contribute to designing a new energy landscape, GRTgaz must adapt its infrastructure and procedures to new supply sources and new uses, integrate new technologies and more. That means we need to boost our R&D capacities.

That is why we created the Research and Innovation Center for Energy (RICE).

RICE in short

  • some 100 people – PhDs, researchers and technicians;
  • 2 R&D sites in Villeneuve-La-Garenne (Hauts-de-Seine) and Alfortville (Val-de-Marne);
  • a portfolio of 67 inventions and around 500 patents spanning the full range of gas infrastructure – storage, distribution and transport of natural gas;
  • cutting-edge facilities on a global scale: laboratories working on gas quality, test facilities for metallurgic materials and composites, as well as facilities dedicated to metrology and testing network materials.

The activities of RICE revolve around 3 challenges:

  • Operational excellence aims both to improve processes, with the development of network management software and error analysis tools, and to integrate innovative technologies. It also ensures that our activities align with changes in regulations. Developed through a continuous improvement process, this priority enables GRTgaz to carry out its primary mission: to ensure continuous gas supply and delivery to its customers under the best conditions in terms of security, cost and reliability.
  • Industrial security has always been a central concern in the design, construction and operation of our projects, which notably involves monitoring facilities as they age, including issues relating to structural integrity and corrosion. Industrial security is further tied to security for local residents, service providers and employees.
  • The energy and ecological transition introduces new subjects, such as hydrogen and 2nd and 3rd generation biomethane, through an approach that cuts across several activities and comprises multiple energy sources. This approach leverages the complementarity of several energies (particularly gas and electricity) and a connection between centralised and decentralised production. Our research focuses on developing the specifications of these new gases, for injection into transport and distribution infrastructure or for their industrial uses. It also focuses on new production methods (methanisation, gasification, Power to Gas, etc.), new uses (like NGV) or the CO2 cycle (CO2 capture at P2G stations, methanation, etc.). We have unparalleled “gas quality” expertise in these areas.

Creating RICE gives GRTgaz a new positioning in France and around the world. In fact, RICE: