WINGAS Opens Gas Storage Facility in Jemgum, Germany

WINGAS Opens Gas Storage Facility in Jemgum

WINGAS, a joint venture of Gazprom and Wintershall, has commissioned one of the highest-performance and largest cavern storage facilities in Jemgum, Lower Saxony, Germany. The owners of the storage facility are WINGAS and VNG Gasspeicher GmbH, with 5/6 and 1/6 shares, respectively. Responsible for the construction and operation of the storage facility is WINGAS subsidiary «astora GmbH & Co. KG».

Over the five years of construction, the companies have invested several hundred million euros into the project.

The infrastructure of the facility is linked to the transportation grids of German GASCADE Gastransport and Dutch Gas Transport Services B.V. Its location allows to put into storage natural gas delivered through the Nord Stream pipeline.

By 2018, the storage facility operator plans to create ten caverns in the salt dome in Jemgum. These caverns will be able to accommodate up to a billion cubic meters of natural gas — enough capacity to supply more than 500,000 households with natural gas for a whole year. Contrasting to aquifer reservoir storages, salt cavern facilities can comparatively quickly switch from filling to withdraw mode, and provide very high withdrawal and injection rates. Up to a million cubic meters of gas can be withdrawn of Jemgum storage in an hour. At aquifer reservoir storage facilities this process usually takes twice as long. This feature makes the Jemgum facility an attractive partner for renewables.

During the official opening ceremony, Lower Saxony’s state premiere Stephan Weil underlined the special significance of the project for energy policy: “The storage facility makes a key contribution to supply security, thus highlighting the central role Lower Saxony plays as a natural gas hub for northwest Europe.”

“Natural gas storage facilities help to balance out seasonal fluctuations in natural gas consumption. They can cushion the effects of fluctuations in power generation from the wind and the sun — hence, they are effectively the backbone of the energy transition“, he noted.

Astora Managing Director Andreas Renner says: “As an innovative cavern storage facility, Jemgum complements astora’s existing aquifer reservoir storage facilities perfectly.With this portfolio we have an excellent basis for positioning ourselves successfully as one of the largest European storage operators in the future.”

LNG World News Staff, September 17, 2013; Image: WINGAS