Gas caverns

E.ON, the German gas and power company, has begun solution mining at all eight caverns at its Holford gas storage facility in Cheshire.

The solution-mining process involves seven billion gallons of water pumped into underground salt deposits to create caverns that will be used for future gas storage. Once complete, the facility will have storage capacity for approximately half of the UK‘s average daily gas demand.

The construction of these storage facilities form part of E.ON’s plan to keep household energy at an affordable price. The caverns will be developed over a period of five years with the first three caverns expected to be ready for use in 2011.

Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said: ‘We’re very aware that our customers have seen large price increases in recent months and it’s only by investing hundreds of millions of pounds in projects such as this that we can hope to keep energy as affordable as possible.’

E.ON also plans to develop a larger gas storage facility near Aldbrough in East Yorkshire.