PGNiG to boost gas storage capacity

By Anna Kachkova05 August 2022

A key objective of the Wierzchowice expansion is to increase gas injection and withdrawal rates. (Map: PGNiG.)

Poland’s PGNiG has plans  to expand its underground gas storage facility in Wierzchowice by 28.3 Bcf (8 × 108 m3). This represents a 25% increase in the company’s overall storage capacity, taking it to 141.3 Bcf (4 × 109 m3).

PGNiG intends for the expansion to improve Poland’s energy security as concerns mount over ongoing disruptions to European gas supply amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

A key objective of the Wierzchowice expansion is to increase gas injection and withdrawal rates, PGNiG said. The company expects this to result in greater flexibility for the storage site and its ability to accommodate a sudden spike in gas demand. The injection capacity of the Wierzchowice facility will be increased by 33%, from 508.5 MMcf/d (1.44 × 107 m3/d) to 678.0 MMcf/d (1.92 × 107 m3/d). The withdrawal capacity will be expanded even more, by 66%, from 508.5 MMcf/d to 847.6 MMcf/d (2.4 × 107 m3/d).

The expansion project will entail the drilling of three new injection and withdrawal wells, as well as an increase in the capacity of the gas drying facility and the installation of additional gas-pumping compressors. The project is due to be completed within 30 months, at a cost of just over PLN385mn ($83.6mn).

“The expansion of the storage facility in Wierzchowice is a vital project for the gas fuel market, where strong demand is present,” stated storage system operator Gas Storage Poland’s CEO, Beata Wittmann. “Its increased storage capacity and operational performance will enable better balancing of the system, improving the security of supply also for the growing sector of gas-fired power generation.”

Meanwhile, PGNiG’s CEO, Iwona Waksmundzka-Olejniczak, noted that against the backdrop of geopolitical turmoil in Europe, the company had begun the gas injection process earlier than usual. As a result, the company’s storage facilities were “almost full”, she said.

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