A final investment decision on the KatharinaUGS facility construction was signed yesterday in Salzburg by Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Dr. Karsten Heuchert, Chairman of the Executive Board of Verbundnetz Gas.
It is planned to use the Bernburger Sattel salt cavern for creation of 10 underground gas storages with the capacity of 600 million cubic meters. The investment period of the project covers 15 years. In addition, it is panned to construct a system of aboveground facilities and a 37 kilometer long lateral to the JAGAL gas pipeline.
“Gazprom Group will keep paying special attention to building up the UGS capacities abroad as they ensure energy security in European that remains our key export market. By 2030 we are going to increase the working gas volume of foreign storage facilities to at least 5 per cent of the annual export supplies, maintaining a focus on our own facilities creation,” Alexander Medvedev said.
Established in 1969 and headquartered in Leipzig, Verbundnetz Gas (VNG) is a supplier of gas to Germany and a number of other countries. VNG business activities involve natural gas import, supply to consumers as well as production and underground storage.
At present, the company's shareholders are as follows: EWE – 47.9 per cent, Wintershall Holding – 15.79 per cent plus one share, VNG Verwaltungs und Beteiligungsgesellschaft – 25.79 per cent less one share, Gazprom – 10.52 per cent.
In April 2008 Gazprom and VNG inked the Agreement of Cooperation in the underground gas storage sector, which provides for establishing a joint venture that would operate a new UGS facility near Bernburg (Saxonia-Anhalt, Germany). Later on, this facility was named Katharina. In May 2009 Gazprom and VNG signed the Agreement on setting up a consortium to construct the Katharina UGS facility.
Upon reaching the design capacity, the UGS working gas volume will amount to 629 million cubic meters.
JAGAL (Jamal-Gas-Anbindungs-Leitung) is a 338 kilometer long pipeline designed for further transmission of Russian gas conveyed to Germany via the Yamal – Europe gas pipeline.