Government-backed plans to allow foreign companies to store gas under the Bergermeer area near Alkmaar will considerably boost the risk of earthquakes in the region, according to an action committee opposed to the project.
The group Gasalarm 2 is quoting two reports which say the active fault line under the area is twice as long as officially stated. ‘That increases the risk of an earthquake as well as the likely magnitude,’ Sieme Niks told the Financieele Dagblad.
Russian energy giant Gazprom and Taqa, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi national energy company plan to inject natural gas into an empty gas reservoir underground. The scheme is part of Dutch government efforts to turn the Netherlands into a European gas hub.
The Bergermeer project will be the biggest natural gas storage facility in the continent, with over four billion cubic metres of gas – enough to supply 1.6 million Dutch households for a year, according to Taqa itself.
The Bergermeer area has already been made the subject of special government orders which mean the views of local and provincial government as well as the Council of State – the country’s highest appeal court – can be bypassed, the paper says.
Economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven is due to discuss the storage plans with locals later today.