Contact's Ahuroa natural gas storage facility in New Zealand should be operational by December

Source: Contact Energy

Contact Energy’s Ahuroa gas storage facility near Stratford is on track to be operational by the end of the year, with drilling of the three final wells completed recently and flow lines for gas injection and extraction now installed.

Contact has temporarily stopped injecting gas into the facility while the gas compressor is reconfigured to a higher pressure. Reconfiguration is due for completion by September 2010 at which time injection will recommence.

Ahuroa Natural Gas Storage Facility

Ahuroa is New Zealand’s first dedicated underground natural gas storage facility. It will provide significant flexibility in Contact’s natural gas supply, allowing the company to take and store natural gas during off-peak times, such as summer and use it during times when it is most needed, such as winter peaks.

The Ahuroa gas facility will also provide flexible gas supplies for the company’s $250 million, 200 megawatt gas-fired peaking power station at Stratford which is expected to be commissioned during winter this year.

“The Ahuroa gas storage facility will help us manage the costs of inflexible ‘take or pay’ gas supply contracts, and limit the use of gas at times when it is cheaper to use other generation options,” Contact’s Managing Director David Baldwin says.

The development of Ahuroa is being undertaken by Contact with drilling, design and operations managed by Origin Energy.

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