The benefit of a natural gas pipeline from the continent to Guernsey

June 8th, 2010 by Paul Garlick

The production of biogas or bio-methane from the anaerobic digestion of organic matter has been receiving attention as an energy source.

Unfortunately its application in the Channel Islands is frustrated because there isn’t the infrastructure here to supply natural gas (methane). The Guernsey Gas pipeline network supplies Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), which is a mixture of gases – propane and butane – and these are not compatible in a pipeline with the delivery of natural gas (methane).

If the Channel Islands were connected to the European natural gas grid, the Channel Islands would benefit from other renewable or low carbon gas as well as providing an opportunity for capturing and delivering our own biogas (bio-methane) from our landfills and from the anaerobic digestion of food and green waste. The bio-methane could be injected it into the natural gas supply network.

Bio-methane can be used also to fuel vehicles if contaminants in the gas are removed, or to generate electricity in a Combined Heat & Power Unit (CHP) although for this process the bio-methane has to be significantly treated.

Bio-LPG is also a possibility but more research needs to be done and there is not widespread interest.

Guernsey and Jersey Gas have tried to get the Guernsey and Jersey governments interested in a natural gas pipeline from the continent. There are environmental, social and economic benefits that could be realised. Installing a natural gas pipeline from the continent would negate the need for the sea freighting LPG, leading to an improved security of supply. Pipeline delivery would free up St Sampson harbour. There wouldn’t be a requirement for LPG storage depots at La Collette and St Sampson harbour, or Le Bouet gas production plant, freeing up land for more efficient use, and removing land use planning restrictions around these hazardous sites.

A natural gas pipeline from the continent would provide Guernsey with a more affordable low carbon energy source. Natural gas could be used on Island for power generation, providing a hedge against imported electricity costs.

The Energy Policy overlooked natural gas which Guernsey Gas Ltd. believes may be a lost opportunity. The States of Jersey looked into the potential cost of a pipeline serving Jersey only in a report in 2007. This would have cost in the range £ 15 to 29 million. Compared to the financial advantages such a project looks attractive. Guernsey Gas Ltd. continues to raise with the States of Guernsey the issue of a natural gas pipeline wherever possible.

1 Response to “The benefit of a natural gas pipeline from the continent to Guernsey”

  1. Rhys Little

    Thanks for this, if you are interested in combined heat and power take a look here, its got some good info, thanks

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