Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Taqa pushes on with gas plan despite drill setback

Taqa, the energy investment company majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, is proceeding with some work on a gas storage site in the Netherlands despite a Dutch order to halt drilling.

Abu Dhabi National Energy, the energy investment company known as Taqa, is pressing ahead with plans to build Europe's biggest underground gas storage facility despite an order to suspend drilling because of safety fears.

A Dutch council this week ordered Taqa to halt the 800 million (Dh4.18 billion) project after environmentalists and residents voiced concerns the plan to pump gas into a former natural gas chamber north of Amsterdam could destabilise an area that has felt earth tremors in recent years.

Taqa's shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slipped more than 3 per cent yesterday to close at Dh1.17 after reports of the suspension emerged.

The order will be in place until a decision is made by the council, expected next year, on whether the project can go ahead. It is expected to push back by at least a year the project's original 2013 completion date, said Allan Virtanen, a spokesman for Taqa's operations in the Netherlands.

"We're more than confident that the verdict will be positive," Mr Virtanen said yesterday. "We're still hoping to provide [some] capacity in 2014."

Taqa will proceed with the part of the plans not covered in the council's order, such as building pipelines and gas processing plants, while its Russian partner Gazprom is to continue pumping gas into the storage reservoir to maintain pressure.

The Bergermeer project would put more than 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas into the underground reservoir.

Taqa is a 60 per cent stakeholder in Bergermeer, with the second-largest investor Energie Beheer Nederlandowned by the Dutch government.

Taqa, which has commissioned studies on the safety and environmental risks of the storage site, insists the plan is safe.

"By refilling the reservoir, we're actually decreasing the risk of earth tremors because we're bringing it back to its original state," Mr Virtanen said.

Taqa and its partners will stick to the original schedule for pipelines and gas processing plants, he added.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National