Brussels begins transition to rich natural gas for households
Tuesday, 01 September 2020
The first Brussels households have made the switch to a supply of rich natural gas on Tuesday.
There are two types of natural gas – rich and lean. They are distinguished by how much energy they release, with rich gas producing more energy than lean.
The Brussels Region has been supplied for years with lean natural gas from the Netherlands. However, due to a reduction in its reserves, the Netherlands decided in 2016 to gradually reduce its exports from 2024 onwards, with a definitive stop in 2030.
To guarantee security of supply, it was therefore decided to turn to other producing countries, such as Norway, the United Kingdom and Qatar, which have rich gas at their disposal.
The launch of this gradual switchover was officially given this Tuesday in Molenbeek in the presence of local authorities and officials from Sibelga, the Brussels manager of the electricity and natural gas distribution networks.
Some 51,000 households in the communes of Koekelberg, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe and Molenbeek have been successfully converted from lean to rich gas. A total of 500,000 Brussels households will undergo this transition over three years.
Normally, 98% of gas appliances are ready for this conversion, with or without some adjustments. All appliances sold in Belgium since 1978 are theoretically compatible with both gases.
By 2022, the entire Brussels region should have converted to rich natural gas.