E.ON UK has submitted a scoping application to build an underground gas storage facility north of Aldbrough in East Yorkshire.

The company carried out geological investigations earlier this year to determine the area’s suitability for the facility. The power provider now intends to apply for planning permission to build its proposed scheme for the site.

Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said: There is an urgent need for more gas storage in the UK as production from the North Sea declines.

He added, We are once again about to go into a winter which will be challenging for energy companies. The UK needs gas storage facilities to come on line to ensure security of supply and help stabilize energy prices.

Our proposed facility is of strategic importance and would be able to store an amount of gas equivalent to that used by the whole of the UK on a cold winter’s day.

It is hoped that a full planning application will be made in the autumn. If the scheme gets the green light, construction is expected to start late in 2007 with the first phase operational in 2010 and project completion in 2012.