Centrica Energy has won planning permission from Barrow Borough Council to create an offshore gas storage facility in the depleted Bains Gas Field in the East Irish Sea off the Cumbrian coast.
By 2012, the Bains Gas Field will be used to transfer gas from the national grid back into sub-seabed rock strata during periods of low demand – summer – and then pumped back into the grid via a processing facility at Rampside near Barrow during times of high demand requirement.
The project will boost the UK's relatively low amount of gas storage capacity at a time when over the next 10 years dependence upon imported gas is likely to rise to 80%.
Stuart Klosinski of Furness Enterprise said: "We support this energy investment because it offers security of energy supplies and vastly increases the UK's gas storage capacity. It will create over 130 construction jobs and sustain 180 existing jobs for 25 years or more. There could also be significant local supply chain benefit and potential for increasing servicing of offshore activity from Barrow."