Official opening of the Stublach gas storage facility, a key asset to meet UK gas market needs
Lord Deighton KBE, the Treasury Minister, and Jean-Claude Depail, Executive Vice-President in charge of the Infrastructures Business Line of GDF SUEZ, have today opened the Stublach Gas Storage Facility in Cheshire (United Kingdom), representing an investment of £500 million by GDF SUEZ subsidiary Storengy.
The Stublach site has so far commissioned two salt caverns, which represent a capacity of 40 million cubic metres now available to the UK gas market. A further three caverns will be available by the end of December 2014, bringing capacity to 100 million cubic metres. The site will eventually have up to 20 caverns with a total capacity of 400 million cubic metres.
With a current 6% gas storage ratio (storage capacity/gas consumption), the UK is well below the European Union average (22%). As the UK becomes more dependent on gas imports and the likelihood of an increasingly flexible demand, new storage sites will play an important role to meet the needs of the gas market, and by 2020 Stublach will be the largest UK onshore underground gas storage facility.
Opening the site today, Lord Deighton KBE, the Treasury Minister, said : «Energy security is central to the government’s long-term economic plan, and we are focusing on investing in infrastructure to achieve this. Sites like Storengy at Stublach play a crucial role in our energy security strategy, allowing gas suppliers and others the flexibility to store gas safely in preparation for when demand is high, or when other supplies are restricted.»
«I am delighted to open the site today. This site has been constructed to the highest safety and hygiene standards, with no public investment required. It demonstrates a real vote of confidence in the UK economy by GDF SUEZ, another example of companies confirming that the UK has created the right environment for investment.»
Jean Claude Depail, Executive Vice-President of GDF SUEZ in charge of the Infrastructures, added :
«Stublach is the first investment in the UK for our gas storage business, following many years of operation in France and Germany. I am delighted that the project has just achieved a major milestone and the first salt caverns are now full of gas and already contributing to the security of supply of natural gas across the UK.»
Storengy is a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ. Its business is based on recognized expertise in the design and operation of complex industrial sites and specialist expertise in underground modeling. Storengy is one of the few operators in the world to combine skills as varied as market analysis, subsurface sciences, drilling and completion techniques, underground reservoir engineering, operation of surface industrial facilities and industrial safety. With a total storage capacity of 12.5 billion cubic metres, Storengy is the largest operator of natural gas storage in Europe. It currently operates 22 storage facilities across France, Germany and the UK and is also represented in Canada and China.
GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services. GDF SUEZ employs 147,400 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €81.3 billion in 2013. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).