INEOS Enterprises secures planning permission for new strategic UK gas storage facility in Cheshire

INEOS Enterprises has secured planning permission and Hazardous Substances consent for its proposed strategic UK gas storage facility in Cheshire. The decision by Cheshire County Council to grant planning permission will now be referred for ratification to the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government. Subject to ratification being received, INEOS Enterprises anticipates that the first phase of the facility could come into commercial operation during 2009.

The project, known as the Stublach Gas Storage Facility, will consist of up to 28 cavities that will be solution mined for gas storage at INEOS Enterprises' existing brinefields at Holford, Cheshire, along with a gas compression station and associated infrastructure that will connect the facility to the National Transmission System. 

Comments Harry Deans, CEO INEOS Enterprises: "We are pleased that the Stublach Gas Storage Facility has been given the green light by the Local Planning Authority. Our facility will be of vital importance in securing supplies of gas for the UK. The events of last winter clearly highlighted the gas supply difficulties facing the UK and the dramatic rises in gas and electricity prices that have resulted. 

"Government and energy watchdogs view gas storage as an important part of our national energy portfolio. Investing in UK gas storage now will help to avoid gas supply interruptions in future years. In this respect our scheme is fully consistent with national energy policy."

The Stublach Gas Storage Facility is designed to store a maximum working gas volume of approximately 200 mTherms of natural gas and have a deliverability of 12m therms/day. It is highly compatible with INEOS Enterprises’ existing infrastructure and builds on the Company’s heritage of over 70 years of proven safe solution mining in the area and over 20 years experience in the underground storage of natural gas and ethylene. 
Through its Brine & Water business INEOS Enterprises is a key raw materials supplier to a number of chemical manufacturers in the North West, including sister company INEOS Chlor, the UK’s largest producer of chlorine and caustic soda. Extensive solution mining infrastructure already exists at the Holford Brinefields, which will be used for solution mining the new gas cavities, with all of the brine extracted being used for chemicals manufacture. 

One of the key environmental benefits that the Stublach Gas Storage Facility has over other storage schemes proposed for the UK is that it will ensure a ‘double use’ of natural resources, both for salt extraction and for the creation of gas storage cavities, thereby meeting a high standard of environmental sustainability. 

INEOS Enterprises continues to work with E.ON UK to develop its gas storage facility at Byley, Cheshire. 

For further information please contact:

Craig Welsh, INEOS Enterprises Press Office
Phone: 01928 511528 

Notes to editors:

  • INEOS is a leading global manufacturer of refined products and basic, intermediate and speciality chemicals. The Company is made up of multiple decentralised businesses, each with a major chemicals company heritage.
  • The INEOS production network spans 68 manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, South Africa, Asia and Africa. The combined INEOS Group, which includes the recently acquired Innovene (BP) people and assets, generates more than $33bn in revenues and has more than 15,000 employees. This makes INEOS the third largest independent chemicals company in the world and the largest in the UK, as well as the country's largest private company.
  • INEOS Enterprises is a portfolio of eight leading businesses manufacturing chemical products in Northern Europe and Southeast Asia, with sales of these products to customers around the world. The Company is focused on the developing needs of customers and rapid growth through investment in new products and manufacturing facilities or by acquisition. The Company has sites in the UK, France, Germany and Thailand.
  • Over 20 million people in the UK rely on gas for heating and cooking, and more than 25% of the UK’s electricity supply is generated from gas.
  • Gas storage facilities allow gas suppliers to ensure sufficient gas is available to meet demands when required. This can either be when demand exceeds supply capacity or when production or transportation is disrupted.
  • Gas storage also plays a key role in the competitive gas market to reduce prices to consumers. It gives gas shippers and suppliers the flexibility they need to manage variations in prices and demand so that gas customers, and indirectly electricity customers, can benefit from greater competition and lower prices.

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