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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Vector appointed to lead gas supply emergencies

Vector will take the lead on managing gas emergencies after new regulations, effective today, allows it to order pipeline users to tell customers to reduce or cut gas use.The Gas Governance (Critical Contingency Management) Regulations 2008 require the ga

Andrea Deuchrass
Thu, 21 Jan 2010

Vector will take the lead on managing gas emergencies after new regulations, effective today, allows it to order pipeline users to tell customers to reduce or cut gas use.

The Gas Governance (Critical Contingency Management) Regulations 2008 require the gas industry to follow a compulsory code when the gas supply is threatened by events including a surge in demand, physical failure or damage to high pressure natural gas pipelines.

Previously, the industry followed a voluntary plan.

During a national gas supply emergency, Vector – as the newly appointed critical contingency operator (CCO) – has the power to direct pipeline users to take specific actions including issuing curtailment notices.

A Vector spokesperson said the move was not related to any security of supply threat, but to create an “industry standard” and ensure greater consistency and clear accountability.

The number of people affected by gas-saving orders during a supply emergency would depend on the extent of the emergency.

“First off, it would affect major gas users. The priority is to maintain essential services and minimise disruption,” she said.

Gas-fired power stations and gas storage facilities, large industrial plants and energy retailers would be directed first to reduce demand from the affected section of the gas transmission system.

“This means that some end consumers may need to have their gas supply cut.”

She said the priority in an emergency was to minimise risks to the gas transmission system and connected downstream gas distribution networks, as well as the health and safety to the public.

In 2004, CNG tankers were called in to the Hawkes Bay to provide customers with a temporary gas supply when the main gas transmission line was damaged in severe storms.

The industry-owned Gas Industry Company appointed Vector as the CCO.

Vector chief executive Simon Mackenzie said the appointment provided clear leadership and outlined a definite industry process with trigger points and actions.

“Depending on the severity of the event, pipeline users may be directed to instruct their customers to reduce or cut consumption of natural gas. This will be done following formal industry curtailment notifications, which will outline the order in which the curtailments occur.

“The process has been designed to restore normal pipeline operations as soon as possible while minimising the impact on consumers and ensuring that essential services are maintained.”

He said Vector would only stop a critical contingency once it is confident that normal pipeline operations were restored and supply to customers resumed.

Andrea Deuchrass
Thu, 21 Jan 2010
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Vector appointed to lead gas supply emergencies
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