The changes in the playing field for natural gas translate into changes for some of our activities. However, gas and gas infrastructure will continue to form the backbone of a reliable and affordable European energy supply. Our infrastructure, knowledge and competencies create important value for customers and society.
Our strategy is focused on this value creation and relies on these three pillars:
- Pillar I – Optimum infrastructure: Ensuring a safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable gas infrastructure in our core area.
- Pillar II – Connecting Europe: Contributing to an efficient gas infrastructure and services for a properly functioning European natural gas and LNG market,
- Pillar III – Energy in transition: Accelerating the transition to a CO2-neutral energy supply.
These pillars are explained below.
Pillar I: Optimum infrastructure
Particularly after 2020, the gradual loss of the Dutch (L-gas) exports and decline in the demand for L-gas in the Netherlands will have a substantial impact on the use of the Dutch gas transport network. In the longer term, we expect a steady decline in the demand for natural gas in the Netherlands. Natural gas will still play a crucial role for the European energy supply and this sets high demands for the safety and reliability of our gas infrastructure. Our maintenance philosophy is geared to this. To promote the efficient use and, by extension, the affordability of our Dutch and German gas transport networks, it is important to strengthen our position on the international supply and transit routes and our LNG position in the Netherlands and Germany, including on the small-scale market. In many cases, this will involve high-calorific gas (H-gas). We are therefore making preparations to ensure that our existing L-gas pipelines can be used for the transport of H-gas after 2025.
We are using our infrastructure and knowledge to facilitate further reduction of gas extraction in Groningen. We are aligning our maintenance strategy with the expected decrease in L-gas and the integration of new import flows, which will change the utilisation of our compressor stations, in particular.
We want to use our existing infrastructure to facilitate the feed-in of green gas. We are working towards this by means of green gas boosters, by realising green gas connections for third parties and by equipping our network for the feed-in of green gas (by lowering the pressure of the RTL, for instance).
Making gas transport and storage more sustainable continues to be an important point for attention. In cooperation with other European gas infrastructure companies, we have set ourselves the goal of reducing our carbon footprint to nil. One of the focal points here is to further reduce methane emissions, which currently amount to approximately 0.01% of the gas transported.
The north-western European market conditions remain challenging for the non-regulated activities (BBL, EnergyStock, Gate). New revenue models and the introduction of new services are aimed at maintaining profitability.
Within these pillars, our objectives for 2018 were focused on:
Pillar II: Connecting Europe
The gas markets in north-western Europe
We aim to maintain our leading position as a cross-border gas infrastructure company in north-western Europe. We therefore continue to optimise our network by means of operational efficiency, a liquid gas trading platform, sufficient storage and LNG import capacity, and solving bottlenecks. These are essential factors in keeping our network attractive and competitive for existing and new flows, including transit flows, even in a shrinking market.
The declining gas production from the North Sea and growing European imports from Russia are causing the European gas market’s centre of gravity to gradually shift towards Germany. In cooperation with the other German network operators, this development is being anticipated and socially desirable greenfield projects are being developed in the areas of LNG and the opening up of new supply routes. The possibilities of integrating the Dutch and German gas markets are also being looked into.
Outside north-western Europe
The south-eastern Europe region is important for the transit of natural gas from production countries to the east of the region towards western Europe, as an alternative for the supply of natural gas from Russia. In this region, the gas market is still growing, partly because gas is being used to replace other fossil fuels with higher CO2 emissions, like coal, for instance. We contributed to a project in this region in 2018. In consultation with our shareholder, we are no longer looking for strategic positions in south-eastern Europe, but are focusing on using our knowledge and expertise of the gas infrastructure and gas market development in south-eastern Europe by providing consultancy services.
Within these pillars, our objectives for 2018 were focused on:
Pillar III: Energy in transition
We want to deploy our knowledge, competencies and infrastructure to help accelerate the transition to a CO2-neutral energy supply. We see possibilities for using our knowledge particularly in the four areas below: (1) green gas, (2) hydrogen, (3) heating and (4) CCUS. We usually do that with partners.
Our objectives within this pillar for 2018 were focused on starting up or participating in multiple new projects in each area.
Gasunie Strategy Map: 2018-2020 ‘In motion’
The Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consist of 17 goals aimed at making the world more sustainable by 2030. The goals are aimed at ending poverty, inequality and climate change and it is very important for everyone to become aware of this.
How do we shoulder responsibility in this matter?
These goals apply for us as well. Based on our mission, we join in with recognisable global topics in relation to social commitment and corporate social responsibility.
We see the Sustainable Development Goals as a high form of public good and our conduct must be consistent with these. By definition, we will not undertake or support any activities that are counterproductive to the Sustainable Development Goals.
What do we contribute to? We commit to the following objectives
Based on our value creation model and the public good, we evaluated where we contribute most to achieving the objectives of the SDGs. The Sustainable Development Goals tie in closely with our strategy.
Our strategy is based on three pillars that we can connect to one of the goals. We commit to three objectives.
- Pillar 1 Optimum infrastructure relates to SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy for everyone.
- Pillar 2 Connecting Europe relates to SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure.
- Pillar 3 Energy in transition relates to SDG 13 Climate action.
Our results show what activities we undertake and what outcomes were achieved.