National Grid celebrates 50-year gas milestone

National Grid has celebrated the 50-year anniversary of North Sea gas commencing delivery at its Bacton terminal in Norfolk, England.

The terminal, operational since July 1968, still acts as the entry point for more than a third of Britain’s gas, delivering over 100 million m3/d during the winter months.

In 1968, gas flows were fed into a 225 km, 36 inch (915 mm) pipeline from the Norfolk coast to the town of Rugby, where it connected to the Number 2 feeder main.

Since then, the Bacton terminal has grown to cover 728,434 m2, adjoining Perenco and Shell operated terminals.

Two interconnectors now also come ashore in Bacton that can send and receive gas from Zeebrugge, Belgium or receive gas from the Netherlands through the Balgzand Bacton Line (BBL) pipeline.

National Grid is now considering how this strategically important network could be used in the future, with the potential to move low-carbon fuels like pure hydrogen, gas blends and renewable biogas.

“This is a landmark month for us,” said National Grid Director of Gas Transmission Phil Sheppard.

“Fifty years ago, Bacton opened to start taking the first flows from the North Sea gas fields as Britain started the process of converting from manufactured ‘town’ gas to natural gas.

“Today, Bacton is still the entry point for North Sea gas and also for two interconnectors with Europe, one of which is capable of both importing and exporting gas.

“Gas flowing through Bacton has played an important role in keeping homes warm and production lines running over the past 50 years.

“North Sea gas will continue to support our heating and economy for many years to come.

“We are very excited to explore with our customers and stakeholders how our network can support decarbonisation by greening the gas we carry, ensuring that we hit our carbon targets at the lowest overall cost to consumers.”

For more information visit the National Grid website.

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