Bilfinger will procure, fabricate and construct major mechanical and electrical systems over a period of 12 months to expand the central gas plant facilities at the site.
The Stublach gas storage facility, near Nantwich, is the UK’s largest salt cavern storage site. Natural gas is stored in a series of salt caverns that are more than 500 metres underground. These were created over many years by solution mining, in which deposits of rock salt are extracted by water for use in the local chemical industry.
The expansion programme will see the plant’s capacity grow to a working gas volume of more than 400 million cubic metres of gas, making it the largest storage site in the UK.
Under the contract, Bilfinger will fabricate, install, paint and test all new pipework, together with carrying out the residual engineering for procured bulk materials and installation of the electrical and instrumentation systems. Bilfinger will also install major plant mechanical and electrical equipment with weights of up to 50 tonnes.
Phill Maurer, Bilfinger UK managing director for maintenance, modifications and operations, said: “Gas storage is set to play an increasingly important role in the UK’s energy mix to back growing flexibility needs coming from the gas and electricity markets and facilities such as Stublach will be essential in providing the capacity needed.
“Our experience in carrying out large-scale industrial fabrication and construction projects in the energy sector mean we are perfectly positioned to carry out this contract, which poses a range of logistical and technical challenges. Careful planning and a safety-critical approach will be crucial given the size and weight of the equipment that requires installation.”
Bilfinger UK’s involvement with the Stublach facility dates back to 2007 when it supported the original wellhead installation. Since then, it has delivered a range of engineering and construction services at the site for both the gas plant and the gas storage cavern well heads.