Storing milions of cubic metres of gas underground between Alkmaar and Bergen will not increase the risk of earthquakes, according to US research bureau MIT in Tuesday’s Trouw.
Economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven had asked for a second opinion because of local concerns about the plan.
Both MIT and Dutch research institute TNO say the risk of an earthquake of 3.9 on the Richter scale is below 1%, Trouw says. And claims by protestors that the fault line under the Bergermeer polder is longer than earlier thought ‘are not relevant’, the paper quotes MIT as saying.
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 under the polder. 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.
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