How Cumbria will take a lead in storing gas
Published at 06:46, Saturday, 04 July 2009
AFTER supplying new gas for British homes and industry for two decades, the Energy Coast is now planning to store gas as well.
Two ‘energy security’ schemes with a total price tag of around £1bn are planned for the Irish Sea.
In one scheme the big Centrica energy company plans to turn its nearly used-up Bains gas field, in the Irish Sea, into a storage facility.
A new subsea pipeline would be built between it and the Centrica gas terminals complex at Rampside, Barrow, so that gas could be sent out to store in Bains – resting on a cushion of remaining gas in the field – in the summers, and pumped back through Barrow into the National Grid in the winters or when demand soars.
The government wants to see more gas storage capacity in the UK as a strategic measure to boost the country’s energy security.
Former gas terminals boss John Woodings is in charge of the onshore aspects of Bains.
He said: “I think the Energy Coast is a very good concept. When I was in charge of the gas terminals we referred to it as the energy hub, so how could we say it was not a good idea. There is still a lot of exploration in the Irish Sea. The connection into the National Grid is a key element in getting the gas to market, and that is virtually on the Cumbrian coast.”
A 42 inch diameter pipeline starts just outside the Barrow terminals and runs to Lupton, near Lancaster, where it enters the gas grid proper.
As well as requiring new subsea pipelines to be run from Bains to Barrow, it will also require a mini terminal for handling the gas for storage.
Bains will give the UK an additional day's worth of gas in reserve adding to the existing five days.
Bains will operate until almost 2050.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk