UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has given the clearance for the development of an underground Keuper gas storage facility in Cheshire County.

Keuper’s project is expected to provide resilience to the gas supply in the country as per UK’s Planning Inspectorate. The project is also likely to create up to 300 construction jobs along with 30 jobs on the operational front.

Keuper’s application was accepted for review by the Planning Inspectorate in December 2015. Almost a year later, following months-long evaluation, it had recommended the project to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Planning Inspectorate CEO Sarah Richards said: “The Planning Inspectorate has again demonstrated its ability to examine Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) within timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008.”

“The decision announced today supports the recommendation made by the Planning Inspectorate. It is the 65th application for a nationally significant infrastructure project and the 43rd energy project to be examined and decided.”

“This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth.”

Developed at Holford Brinefield, north of Middlewich, the Keuper gas storage facility will comprise a gas processing plant and 19 underground caverns. The facility will also have the associated infrastructure like brine and water systems and connections to the existing gas network in the UK, according to INEOS Enterprises website.

The Keuper facility will be developed to have a storage capacity of up to 500mcm of natural gas. It is planned to have a daily import and export capability of up to 34mcm.

The facility will use underground salt cavities that are specially designed and formed through solution planning for natural gas storage.

Image: Planning Inspectorate in Temple Quay House in Bristol, UK. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.