(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Taqa the international energy and water company of abu dhabi on wednesday announced the start of preliminary commercial operations at its bergermeer gas storage facility in the netherlands.
when completed in 2015 bergermeer will nearly double the netherlands’ capacity and become the largest third party access gas storage facility in europe. this will significantly contribute to the security of european energy supply and create more efficient gas markets by increasing competition a key component of the eu gas directive.
jan willem van hoogstraten managing director of taqa in the netherlands said “bergermeer gas storage is one of the biggest independent investments made in the netherlands at this time. we’re pleased to have achieved this project milestone safely on schedule and within budget. every step of the way we strive to be a good neighbour to the community and to minimise the impact our activities have on the environment. our next major milestone is to be fully operational in april 2015.”
compressors are injecting gas into five wells drilled into the previously depleted bergermeer reservoir. this milestone marks the completion of the first phase of the project. taqa and ebn the dutch state-owned energy company have together invested €850 million in the project. in exchange for storage capacity gazprom supplied the ‘cushion gas’ following a tender organised in cooperation with the netherlands’ authority for consumers and markets. cushion gas is needed to pressurise the reservoir making commercial operations possible.
jan dirk bokhoven managing director of ebn said “this project gives the once depleted bergermeer gas field a second life. natural gas is still the backbone of the netherlands’ energy supply. over the next decades natural gas will remain an important source of energy as the netherlands slowly transitions to a fuel mix that includes more renewable energy. once fully operational bergermeer gas storage will be an essential component in the netherlands’ energy infrastructure contributing to european security of supply.”
construction of bergermeer gas storage started in june 2012. the project consists of an innovative zero emission gas treatment facility in alkmaar 14 new wells in the town of bergen and eight kilometres of underground pipeline connecting the two locations. it is intended to help energy suppliers store natural gas underground during periods of low demand in the summer and draw it down in the winter when demand rises.
when fully completed in 2015 bergermeer gas storage will provide 46 terawatt hours (twh) or 4.1 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas storage capacity equivalent to the average annual gas consumption of 2.5 million dutch households.
taqa has sold all of the facility’s long-term capacity and plans to auction the remaining short-term capacity in september 2014. companies that have already booked capacity include statoil edf vattenfall and gazprom.