The gas grid

The Austrian gas grid is a system that has evolved over time, and because of Austria’s geographical location has an important function as a hub that transports natural gas imports onwards to destinations primarily in southern and western Europe, though the last couple of years have also seen more and more flows in the other direction. Grid development activities are mainly aimed at underpinning and increasing security of supply for Austrian gas consumers.

Gas pipelines and storage facilities in Austria; source: E-Control

Gas pipelines and storage facilities in Austria; source: E-Controlclick to enlarge

Austria’s gas grid has transmission lines (most of which are reverse-flow enabled), distribution lines including compression and valve stations, pigging facilities, control and metering equipment, and facilities that allow access to the transmission and distribution lines.

Transmission systems are high-pressure gas transportation pipelines, or high-pressure networks which are also used for cross-border transportation or transportation to other transmission or distribution systems. Coordination of system operation, including the procurement of balancing energy, lies with the market area manager.

The main purpose of pipelines at grid level 1 is supra-regional control of gas flows; coordination of these lines is a responsibility of the distribution area manager.

Grid levels 2 and 3 are for lines that serve to directly supply consumers, which is why they are under the control of the system operator responsible for the area.
The total length of the Austrian transmission grid is approx. 2,000 km, and that of the distribution networks approx. 44,000 km.

For a list of all Austrian gas network operators, please consult our German pages.