(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), a global energy company majority owned by the Abu Dhabi Government and listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX: TAQA), and partner EBN B.V. (EBN), an independent company with the Dutch State as its sole shareholder, announced three launch customers for the Bergermeer Gas Storage facility in the Netherlands.
Statoil ASA (Statoil), Vattenfall Energy Trading Netherlands N.V. (Vattenfall) and a third European energy company, have together secured more than 90% of the total 11 TWh (1 BCM) of annual storage capacity made available as part of the 2011 Bergermeer Gas Storage Open Season. The three launch customers secured both fixed price and indexed price long-term contracts with durations between 4 and 10 years as of April 2015. The indexed price agreements are based on a multiplier of the annual summer-winter price spread at the Dutch TTF gas trading hub, the company said in a press release today.
Carl Sheldon, CEO, TAQA, said: "We are very pleased to welcome three of Europe's largest energy companies as launch customers for Bergermeer Gas Storage. The vast market demand for our storage capacity is proof of northwest Europe's need for the seasonal flexibility offered by this project. Bergermeer is coming to market at the right time and will be a game changer." Jan Dirk Bokhoven, CEO, EBN, said : "It is our aim to make profitable use of the Dutch subsurface, also when domestic gas production declines in the future. Bergermeer Gas Storage is an excellent example of doing just that. By our participation EBN will secure optimal benefits for Dutch society."
Rune Bj?rnson, Senior Vice President Natural Gas, Statoil, said: "Statoil is pleased to have secured a launching position in the Bergermeer Gas Storage facility which will play an important role in the further development of the European gas business." Stephen Asplin, Head of Vattenfall Energy Trading, said: "Bergermeer Gas Storage will provide additional tools to Vattenfall's extensive portfolio ensuring security of gas supply. Additionally it will enhance liquidity and further improve the functioning of the Dutch gas market." Bergermeer Gas Storage is essential for the Netherlands' plan to enhance security of energy supply and become the gas hub of Northwest Europe. Bergermeer Gas Storage will have a total working volume of 46 TWh (4.1 BCM). It will be Europe's largest open access gas storage facility and double the Netherlands' total seasonal storage capacity. The total working volume of Bergermeer Gas Storage is the equivalent of the annual gas consumption of more than 2.5 million Dutch households.
The project's USD 1.1 Billion final investment decision was taken by the Bergermeer Gas Storage project consortium in 2009. The 2011 Open Season was launched in May 2011 following the Dutch government's approval of the permits for constructing and operating Bergermeer Gas Storage. The Dutch Council of State is currently reviewing appeals and a verdict is expected in early 2012.
Bergermeer Gas Storage is planned to become operational in 2014, with full capacity available as of 2015. Remaining available working volume will be made available closer to the start of commercial operations.