Network management

We also have duties relating to the management and development of the transmission system. As national network operator, GTS is responsible for ensuring sufficient transport capacity, a balanced transport network and the necessary connections to other gas transport networks. The safety, efficiency and reliability of the system are key issues.

Command and control

We control the transport system from our Dispatching Centre (CCP). Here we monitor all aspects relating to physical gas transport, including gas flow and gas pressure. Our main concern is to ensure that all our customers are getting enough gas at the right time and that enough is being injected. Any faults are dealt with immediately by the CCP, for example, by opening or closing valves remotely. This is done through a specially designed computer program called ARGOS (Automated Remote Gas transmission and Online Simulation). Another important computer program is Nimbus (Nomination Information Modules for Data Exchange and SCADA Management), the system used by ‘contract dispatchers’ to control both day and night orders of gas transport.

Network management also covers our gas measurement accounts system (which measures volume, energy and gas composition for invoicing purposes). This particular management process looks closely at the quality of the measurement process, in which technical functions such as accuracy, reliability and timeliness play an important part, as well as the preparation of measurement data (including supervision and allocation) and determination of final accounting data.

Our pipeline network carries four types of gas flow: gas from the Netherlands for domestic consumption and for export, gas from foreign producers for domestic consumption (imports) and foreign market (transit).

Planning

Planning is a vital part of network management. Only through planning can we anticipate market trends, provide new services and invest in the construction of pipelines, compression capacity and gas storage. We therefore study problems affecting the main transport network and look for appropriate solutions. We advise about possible adjustments and carry out preparations for new construction and maintenance projects in the transport network.

In order to plan effectively it is essential to obtain information from other market parties. We have developed a special procedure for this purpose which we carry out every year.