Pembrokeshire LNG terminals to take part in emergency gas shortage exercise as UK Gov say ‘no need to panic’
Liquid Natural Gas terminals in Pembrokeshire will take part in emergency energy crisis exercises as the nations of the UK prepare for the possibility of shortages this winter.
The National Grid exercise in September and October will involve the South Hook and Dragon LNG terminals in Milford Haven, despite UK Government assurances that there is no need to panic over energy supplies.
Exercise ‘Degree’ will take place on 13th and 14th of September and again on the 4th and 5th of October and will create a scenario in which a loss of gas supply triggers an emergency situation for the UK’s energy system.
It has been expanded from the usual two to four days due to the current energy crisis.
“Exercise Degree will utilise mock demand data and simulate a series of supply losses to trigger a NGSE [Network Gas Supply Emergency],” National Grid say.
“[It] will look to test that both gas and electricity participants can appropriately respond to a gas supply shortage which has electricity system implications.”
Downing Street has insisted that households and businesses will not face blackouts this winter, as gas shipped from Australia was set to dock at LNG ports in the UK.
The Attalos gas tanker is set to arrive at the Isle of Grain terminal in Kent, by the mouth of the Thames, later on Monday – believed to be the first cargo of liquified natural gas (LNG) sent from Australia to Europe in six years.
The squeeze on gas supplies in Europe has helped fuel rocketing inflation and driven up household bills, with analysts expecting the energy price cap to rise to £3,554 in October.
Some of the gas on that Attalos is likely to be used in the UK straight away, but much of it will probably flow to Europe through the pipelines that connect Britain to the continent.
There it might be channelled into European gas storage sites and some of it could return to Britain during winter.
Concerns that shortages on the continent could jeopardise the supply of gas back to the UK were played down by No 10, which highlighted both North Sea production and the use of “reliable partners” such as Norway in ensuring homes could be heated and the lights kept on over the winter.
The UK has some of the highest LNG import capacity in Europe, but it has very little gas storage.
Therefore, much of the LNG that comes to Europe this summer will arrive in British ports, but be shipped over to European storage sites.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Households, businesses and industry can be confident they will get the electricity and gas that they need over the winter.
“That’s because we have one of the most reliable and diverse energy systems in the world.”
She said people should not panic or feel they should cut down on energy use.
“These decisions, in terms of energy consumption, remain decisions for individuals,” she said. “But what I’m saying is that households, businesses and industry can be confident that they will have the electricity and gas that they need.”
But No 10 backed a plan being developed the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) which could see households with smart meters being paid for turning off high-energy appliances such as washing machines during peak times to reduce the risk of blackouts this winter.
“We support the National Grid in developing all options which could benefit consumers and help to reduce bills by spreading out peak demand,” the spokeswoman said.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.