Halite Energy Group (Halite) 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.
Halite’s project team is led by highly experienced and respected figures from the UK energy and utilities sectors. Chairman, Dr John Roberts CBE spent seven years as Chief Executive of United Utilities and before that 30 years at Manweb plc. Chief Executive, Keith Budinger spent 18 years working at British Gas prior to joining United Utilities as Director of Asset Management.
The application was accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate (formerly the Infrastructure Planning Commission) in December 2011 and granted consent in July 2015. It will see the creation of up to 19 purpose-built caverns, which will store 900 million cubic metres of natural gas. The vast majority of the development will be 1,000 feet underground, with a small number of above ground buildings to operate the facility.
The £660 million project will create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs at its peak, with an average of over 800 jobs generated during the eight-year construction phase.
Storing gas underground in salt caverns underground is a proven industry which is well established across the world. There are more than 70 underground gas storage facilities globally, with four operational projects in the UK. There has never been a major incident recorded at an underground gas storage facility in the UK since the first underground field was brought online in 1959 at Hornsea, Yorkshire.
Read more about the project in our leaflet, Securing the UK’s Energy Future