The operation of the high-pressure transportation network in Western Switzerland focuses on four main activities:
- Managing gas movements
- Monitoring the network
- Maintaining the installations
- Checking gas pipeline routes and any third-party work nearby
Monitoring the network
A large-scale monitoring system has been set up to ensure the safety and integrity of the gas pipelines right round the clock. A regional control centre (handling dispatching), which is fully computerised and duplicated on our two sites (Aigle and Vevey), continuously manages and monitors the installations on the basis of data transmitted in real time via its own remote data transmission system. In the event of an anomaly or damage, a team stands ready to take action round the clock, 365 days a year.
Dispatching: overall control centre for gas pipelines and gas movements
The network operators perform the following tasks in particular:
- Monitoring the gas pressure and flow rate
- Constant monitoring of the gas odorisation level
- Monitoring the network round the clock
- Monitoring, analysis, raising the alarm and alerting all the appropriate bodies in the event of an anomaly on the network
- Daily observation of weather conditions on behalf of the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss).
Managing gas movements
Managing gas movements consists of ensuring that the quantity of gas ordered from suppliers is sufficient to meet the demand from our customers, and safeguarding the stability of the network so that it can supply our customers safely.
To calculate the quantity of gas needed for the next day, the operators proceed as follows:
- They receive orders from customers (industrial companies, production facilities for electricity or heating, etc.) specifying the gas requirements for the next day.
- They determine what quantities to order based on weather forecasts (mainly in relation to heat production).
Once they have determined the quantities, the operators place orders with the various suppliers and inform the adjacent operators of the quantities to be transported.
On the day of delivery, the operators ensure that the quantities ordered on the previous day are supplied as planned.
Maintenance of gas installations
The maintenance team is made up of various specialists in the fields of information technology, cathodic protection and mechanics, as well as metering experts and chromatography analysts. All preventive and corrective operational maintenance activities are planned in coordination with the Engineering and Trading divisions and Gaznat’s customers.
Maintenance work: moving a section of gas pipe
Checking the route
According to the Swiss Federal Ordinance on Safety Regulations for Pipeline Systems (Pipeline Safety Ordinance), the pipeline route, ancillary installations, protection systems and marker posts must be checked every two weeks.
Any damage that occurs after installation can only be discovered by regular checks performed in accordance with pre-established schedules specifying the type of check to be performed and their frequency. The methods used are land-based checks (from a vehicle or on foot) and aerial checks (from a helicopter or using a drone).
The route of the gas pipeline is checked regularly from a helicopter
The principal objective of the regular checks is to cover the route of the gas pipelines verifying that no actions are being taken by third parties without authorisation, and that no damage has been caused by forces of nature. The security of the network is guaranteed thanks to close collaboration between Gaznat, its agents, the municipalities and all the landowners and tenants affected by the gas installations.
In order to protect people and property, the Swiss Federal Pipelines Act (Loi sur les installations de transport par conduites, LITC) and its implementing ordinances state that the execution of third-party projects capable of damaging a gas pipeline requires the prior authorisation of the appropriate supervisory authority.
The term “third-party construction projects” refers to all construction, agricultural or forestry activities, within the meaning of Article 28 LITC, executed within the safety zone of gas pipelines or ancillary installations maintained under high pressure.
Requirement to obtain authorisation – safe distance and protection zones
Authorisation must be sought from Gaznat by the applicant (project manager, site manager, etc.).
Please ring 0800 807 707 if you require further information.
Click here to download the application forms.
Documents required when applying for a construction permit
The application for a construction permit must clearly state the name of the entity wishing to plan and undertake the work, as well as the exact nature of the said work. The applicant must complete a construction permit application form and attach two copies of the corresponding documents.
The application must also include plans (location, cross sections, detailed drawings), descriptions and construction schedules.
Submission of application documents for a construction permit
The construction permit application form, validly signed, plus the application documents for a construction permit (in two copies), should be sent in paper format to:
Zone Industrielle 1
If covenient, the applicant may also submit the application documents for a construction permit electronically (preferably in PDF format). The electronic application documents for a construction permit should be sent to email@example.com
- The applicant submits the application for a construction permit directly to Gaznat.
- Gaznat processes the application for a construction permit. The application is sent, along with a statement by Gaznat, to the Federal Pipelines Inspectorate (IFP) for approval.
- The IFP bases its decision on the documents and the statement by Gaznat.
- The IFP sends the authorisation, along with any special requirements and the applicable terms and conditions, directly to the applicant.
- The applicant is responsible for complying with the various special requirements and the terms and conditions applicable to the authorisation.
Applications take approximately three weeks to process.
Note: The above information is provided for guidance only and does not imply any liability on the part of Gaznat SA.