Reganosa's laboratory has expanded its ISO 17025 certification enabling it to provide better services, especially to Biomethane plants, whose connection to the gas networks of the Spanish gas system is expected to increase. This department, which is located in the Mugardos liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, is the leader in Spain.
In January 2016, the National Entity of Accreditation (ENAC) gave Reganosa's laboratory the certification that recognizes its technical competence to perform tests in the industrial sector, according to the standard UNE-EN ISO / IEC 17025: 2005. This standard sets the technical competence requirements of the test and calibration laboratories, according to international criteria. The scope includes: analysis of composition by gas chromatography, determination of its physical properties and analysis of sulfur compounds by gas chromatography. Reganosa has the only Spanish test laboratory accredited for the analysis of sulfur in natural gas, and there is only one other certified by the other methods.
The improvement introduced is due to Reganosa's decision to study the evolution of the sector and to respond in advance to the needs that may arise in order to promote change, as it corresponds to a company classified as a TSO. Biomethane is obtained from biogas produced from the bacterial digestion of landfills or agro-livestock residues, after being subjected to the cleaning of impurities and the elimination of carbon dioxide (CO2). It addreses a renewable fuel, which is produced from what would otherwise be nothing but residues.
As it is established in the Ten Year Network Development Plan 2017, developed by ENTSOG (the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas), "there has been a significant increase in the number of Biomethane plants connected to the gas network, almost doubling its number among 2011 and 2014”, a fact which is developing this segment of the market. It is also indicated that, from the current year to 2025, injections of this product to the European Natural Gas Network will be multiplied by at least 4.2.
However, the referred inform states that, once biomethane has been demonstrated to be compatible with the quality standards of natural gas networks, a European type-approval effort is required. "The current lack of EU-wide labeling is a major barrier to develop a single market for green gas trading and maintaining the idea of a single European gas market for the carbon neutral era." Reganosa can contribute to this task with the extension of the certification of its laboratory.
Given the expected increase in the connection points of the Biomethane production plants with the European Natural Gas Network, the need to analyze gas of this type was considered in Reganosa's laboratory, with the necessary adaptation of the analysis methodology wich affects the control of natural gas and biogas quality.
Therefore, Reganosa decided to extend the certification range, so that its laboratory could emit certified results for the new situation, reaching 60 mg of sulfur per normal cubic meter, including within its reach the maximum limit established in Spain (50/Nm3). In order to achieve this, it was necessary to validate the analytical method in the new range, as well as the verification of the compliance with the standard UNE-EN ISO 19739: 2006 (Natural gas. Determination of sulfur compounds using gas chromatography). In addition, Reganosa participated satisfactorily in several interlaboratory exercises of international character (Proeficiency Tests).
After evaluating the developed work and after the favorable report of the auditors, which assured the technical competence of the laboratory for the same, the commission of the National Entity of Accreditation (ENAC) agreed to increase Reganosa´s scope certification.
The laboratory team treasures extensive knowledge and experience; both in analytical and instrumental techniques and in the gas sector and acquired extensive training in the quality management standard of laboratories (ISO 17025).
The ENAC accreditation adds value to the natural gas analysis carried out by Reganosa, both for the customers of the LNG terminal at Ferrol´s port and for the external customers it provides. The accreditation involves the formal recognition that an organization is competent for specific tasks. This implies the validity of laboratory results, facilitating the exchange of reliable information and helping to harmonize procedures.
Besides, the accreditation is a differentiating feature in the market, guaranteeing integrity, competence and internationally recognized service. An accredited laboratory guarantees the customer that the service is performed by a team with technical competence, which provides qualified personnel, and who has the appropriate equipment, developing their tasks with appropriate work methods and quality criteria.
ENAC is the entity designated by the State Administration to establish and maintain the accreditation system in Spain, in accordance to international standards and following the established by the European Union. Its mission is to verify the technical competence of conformity assessment bodies (among others, laboratories) to build trust in their activities to the Administration, the market and society in general.