Storenji, NG’s subsidiary that will inflate French gas stocks

Little identified to most of the people, the storage firm performs a significant position within the nation’s vitality safety, particularly at a time when gas flows from Russia are drying up and Tricolor’s nuclear fleet is stricken by lengthy upkeep packages and a significant corrosion downside.

This subsidiary of Engie ensures the storage of pure gas within the territory. “We are a bit just like the gas storage amenities in France. The gas molecules are usually not ours, however we offer the storage capability. Our job is to use and keep them”, Pierre Chambon, managing director of Storenji in France, defined throughout a press convention this Wednesday, November 16. Its predominant clients are France’s predominant gas suppliers, particularly Engie, TotalEnergies, Eni and EDF.

More particularly, Storenji has 14 storage websites in France, divided into two divisions. Aquifer websites, the place gas drives water out of extremely porous sandstone layers. and salt cavities, the place water is distributed to dissolve salt to retailer gas. These salt caverns are situated all through the Rhône Valley and are all between 500 and 1,000 meters deep. Their capability varies between 300,000 and 600,000 cubic meters. We might mainly match the Arc de Triomphe into it. In complete, Storenji is able to saving 100 terawatt hours, or a couple of quarter of France’s annual pure gas consumption.

Seasonal storage

Gas suppliers usually inject gas into these storage websites throughout the summer time, when gas costs are cheaper as a result of demand is way decrease (5 instances decrease than in winter), to have the ability to rack it up within the winter when demand is greater. Very excessive, and so the worth.

With Russian gas in brief provide, gas storage has turn out to be a pillar of vitality provide safety alongside the diversification of gas pipeline provides and the widespread use of seaborne liquefied pure gas (LNG).

In France, these storage capacities additionally play an vital position in stabilizing the electrical energy community. In truth, they make it doable to extract gas in giant portions and typically in very quick intervals of time to fight the chilly spells of winter. A interval wherein electrical energy consumption in France elevated quickly as a consequence of excessive charges of apparatus for electrical heating. However, throughout this era, gas is used to function thermal energy vegetation.

“We are capable of present 85 gigawatts (GW) of instantaneous energy throughout the winter chilly.”, emphasizes Pierre Chambon. In comparability, the present availability of the nuclear fleet is barely above 30 GW.

Very eager for this winter

Storenji is now very optimistic regardless of initially promising to get by way of the winter within the context of the vitality disaster. “In France, gas suppliers have crammed 100% of storage capability they usually proceed to play the sport since withdrawals are actually low for the time being. This may be very optimistic for the remainder of our winter. Storage capability will be 30.35% full on the finish of winter.”, believes Camille Bonenfant-Geneni, basic supervisor of Storenji. In comparability, final winter, the end-of-winter financial savings stage was about 20%.

As for safety of provide subsequent winter (winter 2023-2024), Storenji explains that it’s assured regardless that its advertising and marketing marketing campaign for space for storing has began with some difficulties, particularly as a consequence of unreasonable market costs. Today, solely 25% of the really useful quantity has been offered. “We have 5 months to promote this capability,” Estibaliz González-Ferrer, technique and industrial director of Storenji France, assured. He recalled that the earlier 12 months, regardless of a really gradual begin, gross sales had exceeded targets.

For the safety of future winters, Storenji is betting, amongst different issues, on its web site primarily based in Trois Fontaines La’Abbe (Marne), which is now uncontrolled however the place there’s a specific amount of gas left that might nonetheless be. pulled.. “Up to eight terawatt hours will be supplied in the marketplace inside 15 years”which coincides with the tip of the low cost.

New salt cave open

Above all, Storenji plans to extend its pure gas storage capability. “Research is underway to launch salt cavities that exist, however haven’t been exploited. These cavities will be exploited immediately below circumstances suitable with hydrogen use”, stated Estebaliz Gonzalez-Ferrer. Discussions are at the moment underway with the Energy Regulator, CRE. If Storenji will get the inexperienced mild, these new salt caves will signify 4 to six% extra storage capability, or 6 terawatt hours. “We will initially goal 3 terawatt hours,” cites Pierre Chambon, who believes that these salt cavities could also be helpful “At the most recent for winter 2024-2025” When one thing occurs “Available from subsequent winter”

Between 4 and 6 holes have been recognized and every of them will require about ten million euros to make them operational. Is such funding related when Russian gas is turning into extra scarce and pure gas, a fossil gas, is about to vanish or turn out to be extinct in the long run? In different phrases, will these holes be used within the years to come back? “I’ve 200% confidence that they will be used”Answer by Pierre Chambon. “In a decent market, it is very enticing to have the ability to have gas molecules in our area whatever the season for our safety of provide.”.

According to him, there isn’t any doubt about their commercialization. “Saline cavities are our best product as a result of racking is completed in simply twenty days” While in aquatic storage, withdrawal takes place over weeks, even months, he famous.

Towards a strategic reserve to make sure our sovereignty?

Moreover, in the long run, these saline cavities can type strategic and non-seasonal reserves. Currently, France has no strategic gas reserves when it comes to oil. However, the European regulation, adopted final June, offers member states the likelihood to undertake it. This has already occurred in Italy and Hungary. “It is not the logic of the market, however the safety of provide within the arms of the Member States”, factors out Camille Bonenfant-Geneni. Discussions are at the moment underway with CRE and the Ministry of Energy Transition.

More typically, Storengy’s leaders see a paradigm shift in gas storage. During the earlier Multi-Year Energy Program (PPE), it was extra a query of decreasing the storage capability of storage. “Today, this debate is behind us, it is closed”, assured Camille Bonenfant-Geneni. The chief even claimed to have acquired affirmation from regulators and the Ministry of Energy Transition “Storage’s storage scope will be saved” In the subsequent PPE.

Paradigm shift

Previously, the idea was “to say that gas storage should be proportional to the annual consumption of pure gas. [nous stockons un quart de notre consommation, ndlr]”, defined Pierre Chambon. From now on, “When you are searching for safety of provide it is not essentially, She believes. Even if prices proceed to lower within the coming years, it is extremely vital, for sovereignty and safety of provide, to retailer as many molecules as doable within the nation”.

The final argument developed by Storenji, will not be these extra capabilities “Not in battle with withdrawal from fossil fuels”, As they will be immediately geared up with tools suitable with inexperienced hydrogen storage.