Gas producer NAM accused of interfering with earthquake-proofing for Groningen homes

Gas production and storage plant in Grijpskerk, Groningen. Photo: ANP/HH/Kees van de Veen

Gas producer NAM has been accused of trying to interfere with the reinforcement of around 1,500 houses in Groningen that have been affected by earthquakes related to gas extraction.

Hans Alders, until recently national coordinator overseeing the repair of earthquake damage in the area, made these claims in a letter sent to NAM and economic affairs and climate minister Eric Wiebes, according to the Dagblad van het Noorden.

The GroenLinks party reportedly submitted parliamentary questions to find out more about these claims on Wednesday.

The allegations apparently result from a private email from NAM sent by accident to Alders last month, containing analyses, calculations and opinions on reinforcing 1588 homes.


But the company, which is financially responsible for repairing the damage, should not be taking part in this discussion, according to Alders.

NAM reportedly replied that the technical information was put together in answer to requests from Dutch research institutes TNO and NEN, while NEN reportedly said to the Dagblad van het Noorden that there had been a ‘misunderstanding’.

Last month Wiebes announced the results of a national mining council survey into earthquake damage to buildings in Groningen. This said around 1,500 homes would need strengthening despite a promised stop to gas production by 2030.

The national coordinator for Groningen said at the time that double this number of homes were not quake proof.

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