The DVGW Technical Standards Gas in the German Legal Framework and European Directives
Proceedings Publication Date
Detlef Jagodzinski
The practical work in the gas and water branch is based on the technical rules (codes of practice) of the DVGW. As a reliable instrument the use of these rules offer companies the necessary safety for planning and legal matters, even for the highest national authorities. Being acknowledged rules for technical matters the technical rules of the DVGW are documented in the Energy Industry Act.

The law describes general safety requirements without giving details how to fulfill the mentioned requirements. The details how to construct and operate the gas infrastructures are given by the acknowledged technical rules.

DVGW technical rules provide the basis for the design, construction and operation of gas and water systems in Germany. These technical rules are developed in a transparent process involving all the parties concerned. The reference in the Energy Industry Act and this process give technical rules the degree of legitimacy and the binding effect required.

They provide a reliable basis for engineers in their day-to-day work. In different DVGW technical committees, experts with practical experience discuss the topical issues faced by the industry, updating existing standards and developing new standards as required.

The relevant technical rules for planning, construction and commissioning of gas transport and gas distribution pipelines are:
  • DVGW G 463 (A) “Pipelines made from steel pipes for an operating pressure greater than 16 bar – construction”
  • DVGW G 462 (A) “Pipelines made from steel pipes for an operating pressure up to and including 16 bar – construction”
  • DVGW G 472 (A) “Polyethylene gas pipelines with an operating pressure up to and including 10 bar (PE 80, PE 100 and PE-Xa
The requirements of these technical rules consider and reflect well the contents of the European Standards drafted and published by the European Standardization Committee CEN/TC 234 “Gas Infrastructure”. The set of CEN/TC 234 functional standards covers the gas chain from the outlet of the production field up to the gas appliance.

European Directives having influence on gas transport and gas distribution activities are e.g.
  • Directive 97/23/EC concerning pressure equipment (Pressure Equipment Directive PED) and
  • Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas.
Pressure Equipment Directive excludes in article 3.1 pipelines designed for the conveyance of natural gas from its scope. This exclusion does not apply to standard pressure equipment like pressure regulators and filters.

The essential requirements therefore are reflected in the corresponding product standards.

Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas has been respected in the revision or the Energy Industry Act, published in July 2005. Requirements from this directive e.g. regarding minimum requirements for net work access have been implemented in DVGW G 2000 (A) “Minimum requirements in respect of interoperability and connection to gas supply networks”.