From the pipeline and regasification plant to homes
Generalised natural gas consumption is possible thanks to the Enagás infrastructure network, the main natural gas transporter which has been the Technical Manager of the Gas System in Spain for 50 years.
In addition to the six international connections used to import and export this resource and the existing connection between the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, this company manages seven liquefied natural gas regasification plants, four underground storage facilities, 19 compression stations, hundreds of gas regulation stations and a total of 11,000 km of gas pipelines.
Once the gas reaches Spain, there are several challenges to overcome. The first of these is to maintain the pressure in the gas pipelines to ease transportation. The greater the distance, the more the pressure decreases, so it needs to be regulated in order to reach all the points required.
This is done using gas compression stations that ensure that natural gas stays at a sufficient pressure on its way through long-distance gas pipeline sections.
It is also necessary to inject liquefied gas from ships. This is done at regasification plants. The liquefied natural gas is transported to vaporisation systems where the temperature of the liquefied gas is raised using seawater, thus converting the liquid into gas.
Using seawater has two great advantages. The first is that it is an infinite resource for the plants, which are located next to the liquefied gas discharge ports. The second is the temperature of the sea water itself, which allows that of the gas to rise in a gradual and controlled way.
Finally, there are regulation and measurement stations (416 at present), which perform two main functions. The first is to reduce the pressure in the large gas pipelines so that it reaches the final consumer in an appropriate state and the second, to measure the gas delivered to the distribution company.
So, after a long journey that began in the Algerian desert or in the jungles of Nigeria, after being transported by ship or through thousands of kilometres of gas pipelines, and undergoing quality control at state-of-the-art facilities in Europe, it arrives at your home as an efficient, low-polluting source of energy that makes your day-to-day life more convenient.