Halite Energy has gained consent for an underground gas storage facility in newly-created salt caverns on the Wyre Peninsula at Preesall, Lancashire in one of the last remaining UK onshore sites suitable for gas storage. Once built, it will be the UK’s largest onshore gas storage site.
Whilst we have consent to create up to 19 brand new caverns, we have taken the decision to adopt a phased approach to our project, with the first phase comprising the creation of nine caverns.
The caverns will be created in salt approximately 1,000 feet underground, with a small number of above ground buildings to operate the facility.
The first phase of construction will comprise two main elements: construction of roads and tracks required to provide access to the site and the creation of the brine pipeline. This work will commence in early 2018.
In order to gain access to the site at Preesall a new haul road will be built which will link to the A588 Hall Gate Lane. Initial work will include the erection of fences, clearing hedges and site preparation.
The contract will be undertaken by Bolton-based A.E. Yates Limited and will take approximately four months to build. The majority of work will be off-road minimising any disruption. The road will be one mile long, starting at Higher Lickow Farm and running to the junction with the A588.
The caverns will be created by a process called leaching. This involves using water to dissolve the salt to create the cavern. A pipeline will be built under the River Wyre which will take seawater from Fleetwood Fish Dock via a pump station to the Preesall site. After the seawater has been used to create the caverns brine will be returned via a pipeline to a point 2.3 kilometres offshore where it will be discharged into the sea.
The timetable above illustrates our construction plan. In addition to the haul road and brine pipeline our development includes:
Purpose-built caverns will be created approximately 1,000 feet underground in salt that is untouched by previous mining operations. The location of each and every cavern will be carefully identified following extensive surveys and will be overseen by the Health & Safety Executive under stringent COMAH (Control of Major Hazards) regulations. Within the current timetable washing of the first cavern will commence at the end of 2018 and will be ready to store gas by 2020.
A gas pipeline will transport gas to and from the National Grid at Nateby to a secure Gas Compressor Compound to be built at the main Preesall site. The pipeline is exactly the same as the pipes used by our national gas network.
This will be located at Higher Lickow Farm. The existing farmhouse will be refurbished, the barn rebuilt and a gatehouse will be constructed.