Press Release

Public Exhibitions for Gateway Offshore Gas Storage Project

Gateway Storage Company Ltd will be holding an exhibition about its plans to build an on offshore underground gas storage facility in the Irish Sea, 15 miles offshore from Barrow-in-Furness. The exhibition is open to members of the public and will take place at Rampside Village Hall in Barrow on October 12th and 13th and Fleetwood’s North Euston Hotel on October 15th.

The Gateway scheme involves the safe and secure storage of natural gas in salt caverns 2,300 feet below the seabed of the Irish Sea. The salt caverns will enable gas from the UK’s national gas transmission system to be delivered, stored and then returned via underground pipeline across Walney Island and Piel Channel to a proposed new gas compression station, adjacent to the existing South Morecambe Terminal.

Gateway is subject to planning approval from Barrow Borough Council and the UK Government (BERR and DEFRA). If approval is given, the facility will start operating during the winter of 2011/2012 and will help to underpin the existing gas service industry in the Barrow region as well as meet the Government’s policy objectives of greater energy security and diversity.

Members of the Gateway project team will be present at the Rampside and Fleetwood exhibitions to explain the project in greater detail and answer questions. The exhibition is being held before the planning applications are finalised and submitted to Barrow Borough Council and the UK Government. When submitted, the planning applications will be open to formal public consultation for a period of up to 3 months.

Andrew Stacey, Director of Gateway Storage said: “In recent months, we have
consulted a number of statutory organisations and representative groups about different technical and environmental aspects of the project. The exhibition gives local residents the opportunity to find out more about our proposals. We are keen to hear the views from the local community and answer any questions.”

The exhibition, at Rampside Village Hall, 83 Rampside, Barrow LA13 0PY, will take place on Friday, 12th October (2.00pm to 7.30pm) and Saturday, 13th October (10.30am to 4.00pm). The exhibition will also be held in Fleetwood on Monday, October 15th (10.30am to 4.00pm) at the North Euston Hotel. Notices about the exhibitions will be placed in the local press and posters publicising the Rampside exhibition are to be displayed in the area.

Notes to Editors

1. The proposed site for the Gateway gas storage facility is located approximately 25 kms (15 miles) south west of Barrow-in-Furness, just within the 12 mile territorial limit in the East Irish Sea. The salt caverns will be located within a thick strata of salt that lies below the seabed. The site in the East Irish Sea was chosen as the selected salt strata has been confirmed as one of the best locations for creating salt caverns in the UK.

2. Gateway will store natural gas offshore in 20 underground caverns that will be specially created in the salt strata, some 750 metres (2,300ft) below the seabed. Extensive geological and technical surveys have been undertaken to confirm the ideal nature of the salt. The caverns will be created by a leaching process: circulating seawater to dissolve the salt and create the caverns.

3. Gas has been stored in salt caverns underground for many decades and is a well proven, safe and secure method of storing gas. The Gateway salt caverns and pipelines will use proven oil and gas technology, while all proposed operational equipment has been used in gas transportation for many years.

4. The project provides an additional degree of distance and comfort from any
local communities as the main gas store is 25 kms (15 miles) offshore.

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