Testimonial Dispatcher

‘The hectic activity is the most exciting thing about my job’

René Gerdes, dispatcher

‘The Commercial Dispatching Centre (CDC) monitors the balance in GasTerra’s portfolio. As a dispatcher, it’s my job to determine how much gas we have to pump into the network. If there’s too little, we add some. If there’s too much then we reduce the amount coming in. This way, supply and demand remain in balance. The best time of year is from October to March. If the temperature drops by one degree between the time of the forecast and the actual supply level, you quickly need to find hundreds of thousands of cubic metres. I have to act immediately to redress the balance. The hectic activity is the most exciting thing about my job.

Sometimes forecasts can be way off and we only have a matter of minutes to react. I might have to send a message to the gas producer: we need 500,000 cubic metres of gas at once. The gas can come from underground storage facilities in Norg, Alkmaar and Grijpskerk, or from the Groningen Gas Field.

Fireman

As a matter of fact, doing my job is like being a fireman: sometimes it’s really busy, sometimes quiet. There are six pairs of us working in shifts. You are designated to a partner, so it has to click. Shift work has quite a lot of advantages really. I’m off during the day and that’s quite handy when you’ve got three young children.

I really enjoy working at GasTerra. The job I had before was as a planner in the haulage industry. Freight is more tangible, but I did everything on my own and the impact of what I did had less impact, but that’s different now. Preventing imbalance and making sure the transport capacity isn’t exceeded are the dispatcher’s main duties. If we don’t do it properly, the company gets fined and that can amount to a lot of money.

GasTerra offers me every opportunity to reach my potential. It won’t be long before I have completed my Higher Vocational Education (HBO) in Business Economics. That will come in very useful when I make my next career move.’