MAN Energy Solutions (MAN) has received an order from Estonian TSO Elering AS to deliver two MOPICO compressor systems for the Balticconnector project.
Major gas projects in the Baltic region include the Gas Interconnector Poland – Lithuania (GIPL), the Balticconnector project, and the development of infrastructure between the Baltic states. The GIPL aims to connect the Baltic and Finnish gas networks with the continental European gas network by the end of 2021 and the Balticconnector will provide an important gas link between Finland and Estonia. It will connect the Finnish gas network with the continental European Network, ending Finland’s gas isolation from the rest of mainland Europe. The project will allow Finland and the Baltic States to diversify its gas sources, providing alternative routes and increasing the security of gas supply and energy market integration in the region.
The order includes two MOPICO RM40 compressors with a MAN M33 motor each and a corresponding active magnetic bearing system supplied by MAN-owned MECOS. In addition to the compressor systems, the scope includes the delivery in 2020 and commissioning. compressor trains will be manufactured and tested at the MAN Energy Solutions plant in Zurich, Switzerland.
The compressor systems will be installed nearly 214 miles (200 km) apart in the Estonian towns Paldiski and Puiatu. In order to enable large volumes of gas to be transported across longer distances, the compressors have to increase the pressure in the pipeline, and also keep the required pressure level stable. The MOPICO for Paldiski will compress the natural gas to approximately 942 psi (65 bar). The MOPICO for Puitatu will then compress the gas to approximately 797 psi (55 bar).
The order marks the first for MAN within the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP). The primary objective of the BEMIP is to achieve an open and integrated regional electricity and gas market between European Union countries in the Baltic Sea region, ending energy isolation. The initiative’s members are the European Commission and Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, and Sweden. Norway participates as an observer.
The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the BEMIP initiative was signed on June 17, 2009 and focused on electricity and gas markets, infrastructure, and power generation. On June 8, 2015, a new MoU was signed extending the initiative’s scope to security of supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the integration of the Baltic States’ electricity network into the continental European network, including their synchronous operation.
As part of the implementation of the BEMIP, a number of cross-border and domestic infrastructure projects have been completed across the Baltics to further their integration with the Nordic electricity market. The completion of key electricity infrastructure projects such as Estlink, Nordbalt and the LitPol Link (connecting the three Baltic states with Finland, Sweden and Poland respectively) significantly improved the Baltic countries’ integration in the European Union energy market, and their security of supply.
The Baltic States are now among the best interconnected regions of Europe, with an interconnection level of 23%. Nevertheless, further efforts are needed to complete remaining electricity and gas infrastructure projects, develop a regional gas market, and make the most of the region’s energy efficiency and renewable energy potential.