Eneco's first underground gas storage facillty officially operational
Goal: affordable and sustainable energy for the customer
In the German municipality of Epe, energy company Eneco yesterday has officially put an important part of its sustainability strategy into operation: Eneco Gasspeicher. This is a gas storage installation that is connected to two underground salt caverns. At present, one of the caverns is operational, enabling the in and outflow of 45 million cubic metres of gas. When the second cavern is completed this will increase to 100 million cubic metres. The total investment amounts to approximately 180 million euros. Today, Jan-Kees Rameau, member of the Board of Management of Eneco, performed the symbolic opening ceremony.
Gasspeicher contributes to the optimal supply of gas and electricity to customers. The installation serves as a buffer to balance the fluctuating demand for gas. At the end of last year, Eneco and DONG Energy put the cleanest and most efficient gas fired power plant into operation. These two installations ensure the reliable supply of electricity and gas to customers who choose for sustainable energy, even when there is no wind or sunshine.
Eneco's Gasspeicher gas storage installation is located at approximately three kilometres from the German-Dutch border in the German municipality of Epe, close to two salt caverns at a depth of between one and one and a half kilometres below the ground. The caverns are about 50 meters wide and 300 meters high (one Eiffel Tower) and are the result of the salt leaching activities of the Salzgewinnungsgesellschaft Westfalen (SGW). The salt itself is transported through pipes to industrial customers in Antwerp.
Eneco started to use cavern S82 of the installation at the end of 2011. Cavern S81 will be put into operation later this year. The maximum storage capacity will then amount to 100 million cubic metres of gas, sufficient for approximately 70,000 households per year.
The buildings are adapted to the surroundings as much as possible and as a compensation for the effect on the natural environment, 37 acres of land in the immediate vicinity has been purchased and converted to a nature reserve. In addition, a three metre high earth wall with vegetation has been constructed around the installation to minimise disturbance to breeding birds.