Cavern storage project in Jemgum making good progress
Jemgum. WINGAS GmbH & Co. KG and EWE AG have completed the initial preparations for the construction of a subterranean cavern storage facility for natural gas in Jemgum in East Fresia. The storage facility is being built in a salt dome several hundred meters under the Earth’s surface.
The water intake point in the Ems River, for example, is already complete. It provides the water from the Ems used for dissolving and extracting the salt from the salt dome. This process leads to the formation of hollow spaces (caverns) in which the natural gas is subsequently stored.
The brine pipeline used to transport the salty water once it has been extracted from the caverns is also in place from Jemgum to Hatzum. According to current plans, the pipeline will be extended from Hatzum to Rysum in the coming year. This will allow the companies to discharge the brine directly into the North Sea. “This has major advantages: it minimizes the impact on the natural surroundings and, in some areas, we can use existing pipelines”, Arkadius Binia, Project Manager at WINGAS explained. “Hence we are taking into account important regional and state development policy objectives”, Mr Binia went on.
Additional approval procedures set in motion
“The joint storage project by WINGAS and EWE is a complex project”, Ralf Riekenberg, Project Manager at EWE explained. “The preparations for the extension to Rysum are already underway. In October we will submit the application for a water law license to allow us to discharge the brine directly into the North Sea even though, according to current plans, construction work won’t start until spring 2009. But this way we are making sure that the project can continue to run smoothly”. After all, the project is also important for the state of Lower Saxony. In addition to improving supply security in Germany and Europe, the construction of this natural gas storage facility will give Lower Saxony a key role as a central energy hub.
Joint storage project strengthens supply security
EWE and WINGAS plan to erect 33 caverns in the Jemgum salt dome in the coming years. EWE is planning to build 15 caverns with a volume of up to 700,000 cubic meters each. WINGAS will initially build 18 caverns with a geometric volume of up to 750,000 cubic meters each. The two storage facilities will be developed together but operated separately by the two companies following completion in 2011/2012. Jemgum is set to become one of the largest cavern storage facilities for natural gas in Germany and will make an important contribution to the security of supply. Gas storage facilities enable a flexible and secure supply of energy the whole year through.
WINGAS GmbH& Co. KG is a European energy company and has natural gas trading and sales activities in Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Denmark. Its customers include municipal utilities, regional gas suppliers, industrial firms and power plants. Since 1990 WINGAS has invested more than 3 billion euros in the development of its own natural gas transport and storage infrastructure. The WINGAS TRANSPORT pipeline network, which is over 2,000 kilometers long, connects the major gas reserves in Siberia and the natural gas fields in the North Sea to the growing markets in Western Europe. In Rehden in North Germany, WINGAS has the largest natural gas storage facility in Western Europe – with a working gas volume of over four billion cubic meters – and it is also a partner in the second-largest storage facility in Central Europe situated in Haidach in Austria. Furthermore, additional natural gas storage facilities are currently being built in Great Britain and Germany in order to secure the supply of natural gas in Europe.
EWE, based in Oldenburg, is one of the biggest energy companies in Germany. The Group’s range of services includes power, gas and water supply, environmental technology, gas transport and trade, as well as telecommunications and information technology. EWE consequently provides classic and innovative services from one single source. The EWE network infrastructure features a high standard of technical quality, supply security and economically efficient operation. EWE ensured an early expansion of its core competencies in operating complex networks and its wide-ranging know-how of telecontrol and control technology to a future-oriented multi-service offering. Outside of its traditional business operations in Northern Germany, EWE is now also a successful operator in the post-reunification German states as well as in Poland and Turkey. The EWE Group employed around 4,700 staff at the end of 2007 and generated turnover of 4.7 billion euros.
More information at: www.ewe.de.