Kralupy nad Vltavou, 30 November 2022 – MERO ČR has succeeded in achieving approval for the implementation of the TAL pipeline intensification project (TAL+). The TAL+ plan was approved at the meeting of the Coordinating Committee, the supreme body of the TAL Consortium, held today, 30 November 2022, in Austria.
The approval of this project required the consent of all nine co-owners of the Consortium, which are – including MERO (5%) – OMV (32%), Shell (19%), Rosneft (11%), ENI (10%), C-Blue (10%), ExxonMobil (7.5%), Connoco (3%) and Total (2%).
Implementation of the intensification of the TAL pipeline, which is directly connected to the MERO infrastructure in Vohburg, Bavaria, from where more types of crude oil are transported to the Czech Republic via the IKL pipeline as standard, will ensure the Czech Republic’s full independence from Russian crude oil supplies via the Druzhba pipeline from 2025 onwards.
The IKL pipeline as such already has sufficient capacity to fully supply the Czech Republic with oil without the Druzhba pipeline, but the TAL pipeline, as it is very busy supplying eight refineries in three EU countries (including both domestic refineries), does not have sufficient capacity to ensure 100% of the Czech Republic’s oil supply. For this reason, MERO ČR sought to carry out a plan of strategic intensification of the TAL pipeline in order to fully replace the supplies via the Druzhba pipeline from 2025 and to ensure a full-fledged oil supply to the Czech Republic via TAL.
In July 2022, the TAL Consortium received a new operating permit from the Bavarian authorities, which legally allows the Consortium to increase the TAL pipeline pumping on Bavarian territory up to a maximum speed of 7,500 m3/hour, which is needed to transport the increased amount of crude oil – approx. 4 million tonnes – to the Czech Republic to achieve the level of 7–8 million tonnes per year required to meet the country’s demand. This increased output can be achieved, but only after the completion of the TAL pipeline intensification project, i.e. after the completion of all the technical adjustments the cost of which is estimated to range between 1.2 and 1.6 billion CZK; the complete process will be completed in about 25 months.
“After complex and intense negotiations, when it was necessary to verify the technical, logistical and time feasibility of the project, convince the other TAL co-owners and eliminate their fears of negative impacts on their strategic interests resulting from the implementation of the TAL+ project, it is now possible to prepare contractual arrangements between MERO ČR, a.s, and the TAL Consortium, and start, from January 2023, technical adjustments to increase the transport capacity of the TAL pipeline,” said Jaroslav Pantůček, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of MERO ČR.