InfraStrata plc’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Islandmagee Energy Limited, is developing a pioneering underground natural gas storage facility at Islandmagee, a sparsely-populated peninsula on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, located between the towns of Larne and Carrickfergus.
A pioneering natural gas storage facility, supported by the UK government, to efficiently and cost-effectively address the long-term energy needs of the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic.
The Islandmagee peninsula is the site of Northern Ireland’s main gas-powered power station at Ballylumford, which provides half of the province’s power, and is also the terminating point of the existing Scotland-Northern Ireland gas pipeline, making it an ideal location for a project of this type.
Once complete, the Islandmagee storage facility will consist of several underground caverns, capable of storing up to a total of 500 million cubic metres of gas in Permian salt beds, a well-proven technique that represents the most environmentally-friendly, safe and efficient method of storing large volumes of natural gas.
Third-party consultants have confirmed the facility’s technical and commercial viability, and the project’s economics are underpinned by a long-term lease to an off-trader, that will trade seasonal and short-term gas price volatility by rapidly injecting and storing natural gas ready for immediate withdrawal.
Having secured the necessary planning permissions along with a having a fully-consented land portfolio with favourable geological features, Islandmagee Energy Limited completed the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase of the underground facility during Q4 2018. Since the inception of the project, some £15 million has been invested in a number of work streams, including concept and front end engineering, land purchase, environmental, marine, geological and geophysical studies. The full marine license is expected to be issued during 2020 following the establishment of the environmental baseline for the project.
The Islandmagee facility is expected to provide over 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity (based on 2018 data) and will support the growing demand for gas-fired power development and renewable energy generation throughout the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic.