Steel-Lined Storage Considered for Northeast
The Northeast's hunger for gas storage could be answered by a
new high-deliverability cavern technology being developed in
Sweden. A consortium of U.S. and European companies are
participating in a project to develop lined rock cavern (LRC)
technology. LRC performance is said to be similar to that of salt
cavern storage, but it can be located in areas where salt is not
geologically present. The consortium is made up of New York State
Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEG) and the European companies Gaz de
France and Sydkraft of Sweden.
Traditionally, gas peaking needs in the Northeast have been met
using liquefied natural gas (LNG) or propane/air, both of which
have limited flexibility. Because of its high injection and
withdrawal capability, LRC storage can be completely cycled up to
12 times per year. Partial injection and withdrawal cycles can be
provided daily or even hourly. And it may be possible to locate an
LRC facility adjacent to a large end user, such as a local
distribution company or power plant, to minimize pipeline
transportation costs. However, LRC storage is expected to cost
about twice as much to develop as similarly sized salt cavern
storage, said Mike Kroft, NYSEG manger of commercial and industrial
gas sales. The projected costs of LRC storage per dekatherm of
daily deliverability is $8 per month.
Kroft said NYSEG and its partners are in the process of
determining whether LRC is economic for the New England area.
Mitigating the higher costs would be the ability for customers to
turn back some of their upstream pipeline capacity. Also, multiple
injections and withdrawals allow for better economics, Kroft said.
"We're looking at essentially the New England area, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, and Maine. It's partly based on some siting type of
studies that we are in the process of doing. And then there's also
consideration of the market potential." Ideal would be a spot where
there's a new power plant going up and also a gas LDC on which gas
could be moved without using interstate lines.
An LRC project could complement Sable Island gas supply arriving
in New England on the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline, Kroft said.
"You've got to get enough capacity for whatever your peak need is.
If some storage could be had to level that out, the two could
complement each other, I believe."
Developed in Sweden, LRC technology involves lining specialty
mined rock caverns with steel, enabling the storage of up to 3 Bcf
of gas at pressures around 3,500 psig. The LRC concept has been
engineered and tested in Grangesberg, Sweden. A determination
project under construction in Skallen, Sweden, is to be placed in
operation in early 2001 for full-scale testing and evaluation.
Phase I of the U.S. project entails geologic and environmental
review of potential sites, construction evaluation, and market
analysis. If it is decided later this year to go forward with a
U.S. project, the anticipated in-service date for an LRC cavern
would be the winter of 2004-2005.
©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The
preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in
whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of
Intelligence Press, Inc.