All about transport management

Natural gas is imported to Switzerland from the neighbouring countries at twelve entry points. The most important entry point on the transport gas pipeline is Wallbach where around 80% of the natural gas imports are handled. The transit gas transport system is operated by Transitgas AG in which Swissgas holds a stake of 51%.

The main pipeline of the transit gas transport system runs from Wallbach at the German-Swiss border to Griespass at the Swiss-Italian border. A branch pipeline extends from the French-Swiss border at Oltingue, meeting the main pipeline at Lostorf. The transit gas transport system thus links the Swiss natural gas network with the natural gas networks of Germany, France and Italy. The transit gas transport system is the starting point for important regional transport pipelines that reach into eastern Switzerland, the Swiss Plateau and central and western Switzerland.

The imported natural gas only currently flows from north to south via Germany or France. What is known as the reverse flow is scheduled to be introduced in 2018. From this point on, natural gas will also be able to flow through the transit gas transport pipelines in the opposite direction from south to north.

Thanks to its shareholding in Transitgas AG, Swissgas has transport capacities in the transit gas pipeline both for offtake to the transport pipelines of the regional companies as well as for transit from the French (Oltingue) or German border (Wallbach) to the Italian border (Griespass).

Capacity management and trading activities

Swissgas handles the day-to-day operations of its gas procurement transactions and those of the regional companies in the surrounding countries and in Switzerland. To this end, Swissgas operates suitable processing systems and is responsible for the balance sheets in the market regions. It therefore plays a key role in ensuring that the Swiss gas industry’s gas procurement transactions are handled reliably and correctly.

In its function as the operator of the pipeline network, Swissgas is also in charge of handling the gas transport operations for the regional companies, for other importers and third-party suppliers, as well as for transit customers.

To this end, it works closely with the other high-pressure network operators in Switzerland and the surrounding countries including Germany, France and Italy.

Sales of transport capacities

Swissgas sells the transit capacities from Oltingue or Wallbach to Griespass in annual auctions or on a FCFS (first-come, first-served) basis.

If additional transport capacities become available at short notice, these are sold at the end of the month for the next month in a monthly auction.

Swissgas’ current network access rules for transit capacities as well as other information and sample agreements can be viewed under Downloads.

Representation of the interests of the Swiss gas industry in European committees

Swissgas has observer status in the ENTSO-G (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas) and is a member of the GIE (Gas Infrastructure Europe). Swissgas represents the interests of the Swiss gas industry in both committees.

Transmission Coordination Centre (Koordinationsstelle Durchleitung KSDL)

The Transmission Coordination Centre (Koordinationsstelle Durchleitung KSDL) acts as an information and coordination point for anyone interested in network access with offtake in Switzerland. It is an independent organisational unit within Swissgas. Its responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating the applications for network access to the Swiss natural gas network between applicants and the respective network operators
  • Creating and updating the basic information on the efficient handlilng of transport transactions (workflows, forms, bids, network use contracts, capacity calculations, etc.)
  • Publishing relevant information on the Internet
  • Ensuring coordination between the network operators concerned

Questions about network access for the supply of end customers authorised to access the network should be directed to Transmission Coordination Centre KSDL (ksdl@ksdl-erdgas.ch).