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La revue soGaz #5

Chazelles compressor station


GRTgaz opens a new compressor plant in Chazelles (western France)

On Thursday, 31 October 2013, GRTgaz opened a new compressor plant in Chazelles (western France). The opening ceremony was held in the presence of Jean-Marc Brouillet (Mayor of Chazelles), Didier Louis (Vice President of the Regional Council for the Charente département), Thierry Trouvé (Managing Director of GRTgaz) and Anita Crombé (Director of GRTgaz for the France's Centre Atlantique region). This facility is part of a wide-ranging programme that GRTgaz has been involved in for a number of years now to develop and modernize its compressor sites.

Thanks to support from both the government and various socio-economic players in the region, GRTgaz was able to deliver its project on schedule and on budget – the total cost of the investment that was approved by France's Energy Regulatory Commission is €98 million. During the construction phase, 10% of this total cost was channelled into local and regional economic development, mainly through contracts to do with earthworks, building construction and landscaping.

GRTgaz will also maintain a local presence; an operations team based in Chazelles will be responsible for the station's upkeep and day-to-day maintenance. GRTgaz's National Dispatching Centre and the Regional Monitoring Centre based in Nantes (north-western France) will be responsible for running the site and monitoring it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The new compressor plant in Chazelles will help fnatural gas transit more smoothly along the north-south axis, to and from Spain in particular. For this reason, the station was co-financed by the European Union within the framework of its European Energy Programme for Recovery.

More generally, the drive to modernize GRTgaz's compressor facilities is in response to the growing demand for more flexibility from natural gas suppliers which use GRTgaz's transport network to meet the requirements of their clients. By contributing to the development of transport capacity, compressor plants play an important role in helping natural gas to move across the network more fluidly and in securing supply.

Now that the new Chazelles plant is operational, GRTgaz has 26 compressor plants across the whole of its transport network. These facilities ensure that gas can be transported through pipes over great distances, and provide means to control both its flow rate and pressure.