Bilfinger will carry out procurement, fabrication and construction of major mechanical and electrical systems over a period of 12-months to expand the central gas plant facilities at the site.
The site stores natural gas in a series of salt caverns located more than 500 metres underground. These were created over many years by solution mining, in which deposits of rock salt are extracted by water for use in the local chemical industry.
The expansion programme will see the plant’s capacity grow to a working gas volume of more than 400 million cubic metres of gas.
Under the contract, Bilfinger will fabricate, install, paint and test all of the new pipework, together with carrying out the residual engineering for procured bulk materials and installation of the electrical and instrumentation systems. As part of the scope, Bilfinger will also install major plant mechanical and electrical equipment with weights of up to 50 tonnes.
Phill Maurer, managing director for maintenance, modifications and operations at Bilfinger UK, explains: “Gas storage is set to play an increasingly important role in the UK’s energy mix to back growing flexibility needs coming from the gas and electricity markets and facilities such as Stublach will be essential in providing the capacity needed.
“Our experience in carrying out large-scale industrial fabrication and construction projects in the energy sector mean we are perfectly positioned to carry out this contract, which poses a range of logistical and technical challenges.
“Careful planning and a safety-critical approach will be crucial given the size and weight of the equipment that requires installation.”
The contract is the latest chapter in Bilfinger UK’s longstanding support of the Stublach facility, which began when the business supported the original wellhead installation in 2007. Since then, the firm has delivered a range of engineering and construction services at the site for both the gas plant and the gas storage cavern well heads.
Bilfinger UK is part of German engineering and service conglomerate, Bilfinger SE.