French Storengy seeks third-party exemption for UK storage site

10 March 2014 15:55 Source:ICIS

French storage operator Storengy has submitted a Third Party Access (TPA) exemption request to the British regulator Ofgem for the second phase of its Stublach natural gas storage project in north-west England.

The company – which has already been granted an exemption for the first phase of the project’s development – has said that given the size of the Stublach facility, TPA is not technically or economically necessary.

Ofgem has now launched a consultation in which it has shown support for Storengy’s application.

“For both a peak day and a cold winter in all years assessed, the headroom between supply and demand is significantly greater than the maximum deliverability of Stublach when fully operational. As a result, we conclude that nTPA [negotiated third party access] is not technically necessary,” Ofgem said.

The first two cavities of the facility will have a combined capacity of 40million cubic metres (mcm), and are set to come online this summer.

When complete, the facility is scheduled to have 20 caverns operational, holding an accumulated 400mcm. Injection and withdrawal rates would be up to 30mcm/day, putting it in the same bracket as SSE’s Aldbrough and EON’s Holford facilities, which often react to balance the British system if price incentives are sufficient.

Phase one – which comprises the first ten caverns – is set to be completed by winter 2015, while phase two is to be finished by 2018.

The consultation – in which Ofgem aims to determine the market’s view on whether Storengy should be granted an exemption to TPA – will run until 2 May, after which point the regulator will make a decision. Jack Elliott

By Jack Elliott