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Holford Gas Storage Project Reaches Major Milestone

21 June 2011

E.ON's gas storage project in Holford, Cheshire, has reached a major milestone, with first gas being introduced into the underground storage caverns.

Costain was awarded the EPCm (engineering, procurement and construction management) contract to complete the gas plant infrastructure in 2008. The project entailed the design, construction and commissioning of the gas processing plant and associated infrastructure, including modification works to the wellheads to allow brine to be removed from the caverns and replaced by gas, to allow for gas trading.

Once completed, the development will be one of the fastest delivery facilities in the UK, allowing a rapid response to daily fluctuation in gas demand. The 8 underground caverns have a combined capacity of up to 156 million cubic metres and a daily withdrawal rate equivalent to the domestic needs of 3.5 million homes.

Commenting on the progress being made Mike Cooper, Holford Project Manager, E.ON Gas Storage UK said: "The need for increased gas storage in the UK is well documented and Holford will have a crucial role to play in the UK's energy infrastructure. The first injection of gas really is an exciting achievement and a major milestone for everyone involved with the project."

John Meakin, Costain Energy & Process Operations Director and Holford Project Manager said: “From the beginning of this project, Costain and E.ON have worked as an integrated team. This approach has improved communication between the two companies, and has undoubtedly contributed to the project’s success.

“This significant achievement is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of everyone involved.”

Charles Sweeney, Managing Director of Costain’s Energy & Process division added: “Costain is committed to meeting national needs, and the ability to store large amounts of gas is an important part of the UK’s future energy mix. This facility will increase the country’s storage capacity and help to ensure security of supply.”

The project is on track for commercial operations of the first caverns to begin towards the end of 2011, with the remaining caverns becoming commercially available to store gas by 2013.