EGNOS supports Eustream for gas transmission system operation in Slovakia
Eustream is the operator of the high-pressure transmission system in the Slovak Republic whose main mission is the transmission of natural gas to Slovakia and through its territory to the European markets. The transmission capacity in the system is used by major European energy companies. Eustream’s transmission system represents an important energy connection between the Russian Federation and the European Union. It is connected to the primary transmission routes in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary, and a new gas interconnection pipeline with Poland is being built.
Eustream operates gas transmission pipelines with an overall length of 2,273 km, which are regularly inspected. All pipeline routes are stored in a GIS (Geographic Information System), so the location of parts that need maintenance can be easily identified and transmitted to the corresponding field operators. In this way, the operators can benefit from GNSS handheld devices to directly locate specific pipes with the required precision.
Branislav Reťkovský is head of Eustream’s GIS department since 2005, being responsible for land surveying measurements with GNSS. Branislav states that “for our pipeline maintenance activities, submetric accuracy is required, so we take advantage of the Slovak national augmentation system, named SKPOS, which we access via GPRS (mobile Internet connection).” In this context, EGNOS plays an important role as complementary solution, thanks to the fact that its corrections are broadcasted by geostationary satellites and hence available all over Europe. “Our pipelines are routed through rural areas and there are sites with no GPRS coverage. EGNOS helps us there to achieve the required precision and fulfil our task even without Internet connection”, Branislav explains.
Regarding specific EGNOS benefits for utility enterprises like Eustream, Branislav highlights that “for us, EGNOS means a reliable, open and free-of-charge back-up solution that brings confidence to our land survey practice.” Besides its technical and operational advantages, Branislav also remarks the economic contribution of EGNOS, as “it has allowed Eustream to reduce the costs of their pipeline location tasks”.