On 19 May 2009, Gazprom export LLC, Moscow; GAZPROM Germania GmbH, Berlin; and VNG – Verbundnetz Gas AG, Leipzig established a consortium for the purpose of constructing and operating an underground natural gas storage facility.
The same day, project and operator company Erdgasspeicher Peissen GmbH was founded as a 50-50 joint venture between VNG – Verbundnetz Gas AG and Gazprom export LLC.
VNG and GAZPROM have maintained an energy partnership based on trust and reliability for more than 20 years. It was on 1 May 1973 that Russian natural gas made its first journey across the border to East Germany. Its destination – the town of Sayda, nestled in the Ore Mountains – was then part of VNG’s pipeline network; today, it remains a station operated by the VNG subsidiary ONTRAS – VNG Gastransport GmbH. A few short months later, West Germany also began receiving natural gas supplies from Russia.
Since then, more than a trillion cubic metres of natural gas have travelled from Russia to Germany via the three transport routes established in the interim, including around 250 billion cubic metres that have been delivered to VNG. Meanwhile, VNG and GAZPROM have also spent many years working together on technical research projects, such as in developing and implementing new technologies for storing natural gas underground.
UGS Katharina was named in honour of Russian empress Catherine the Great, who was born Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst and contributed much to German-Russian relations.
St Petersburg-based Gazprom export LLC, a subsidiary of PAO GAZPROM, is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas.
Gazprom export LLC supplies natural gas to more than 20 countries in Europe and Central Asia and exports gas condensate, crude oil, liquefied hydrocarbons, and other petrochemical products. Its activities also stretch to expanding the natural gas pipeline network and the storage of natural gas.
A specialist in natural gas, VNG Gasspeicher GmbH offers products and services designed to help its customers stay competitive. VNG Gasspeicher GmbH covers the entire value chain with its four main areas of business: exploration and production, trading and services, transportation, and storage.
With its portfolio of long-term import contracts and access to all of Europe’s markets, VNG Gasspeicher GmbH has what it takes to meet the demand for natural gas. Having its own transmission and storage infrastructure and conducting its own exploration and production further enhances its ability to ensure security of supply. In addition to refining natural gas into an innovative, climate-friendly product that supports a wide array of uses, VNG Gasspeicher GmbH provides a number of unique services. Since its foundation more than 50 years ago, the group has maintained its regional roots while turning its focus to the international stage. VNG Gasspeicher GmbH is Germany’s third-largest importer of natural gas. In 2010, the VNG group generated EUR 6.3 billion in sales and employed a workforce of 1,400.
For more information, visit www.vng.de.
Near the city of Bernburg in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, VNG Gasspeicher GmbH currently operates an underground facility comprising 35 caverns and a total working gas capacity of nearly 1.1 billion cubic metres. This gives the group’s four total underground storage facilities – located across central and northern Germany in Bad Lauchstädt, Bernburg, Buchholz, and Kirchheilingen – a usable storage capacity of 2.6 billion cubic metres. Leipzig-based VNG Gasspeicher GmbH is thus the third-largest operator of natural gas storage facilities in Germany.
Germany starts receiving deliveries of Russian natural gas
Further natural gas supply agreements signed
Natural gas delivered to West Berlin for the first time
VNG becomes the first German company to receive Russian natural gas via the Yamal pipeline
GAZPROM (along with subsidiaries) begins working with VNG on technical research projects
Deutsch-Russisches Rohstoff-Forum, a platform for dialogue between Germany and Russia on raw commodity trade, is established
Erdgasspeicher Peissen GmbH is established as a joint venture between Gazprom export and VNG
Ground is broken at the UGS Katharina construction site; the ejector unit is commissioned at UGS Bernburg
Over 1 trillion cubic metres of natural gas has now been supplied from Russia to Germany, including over 250 billion cubic metres to VNG