Antrim company seeks £40m EU grant to store UK natural gas
InfraStrata’s plan is to provide more than 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage in a salt cavern in the North
According to InfraStrata: “Whilst a Brexit ‘No Deal’ generally increases uncertainty, the directors do not believe that it will affect this application”
InfraStrata, the AIM listed company seeking to develop a new natural gas storage facility in Northern Ireland capable of providing more than 25 per cent of the UK’s natural gas storage, has applied for a grant of £40 million (€34.5 million) from the European Union to help finance the project.
The company, which wants to construct a salt cavern gas storage facility on Islandmagee in Co Antrim, went public with its application for EU funding for what InfraStrata has described as a “key piece of strategic infrastructure for the UK” on Monday - the same day the UK Prime Minister insisted a Brexit deal was “still achievable”.
The proposed Islandmagee gas storage facility was previously designated by the EU as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) because of its geographical location which has enabled it to apply for grant funding. InfraStrata estimates that around £11.5 million has been invested in the project to date.
The AIM listed company claims it is currently the only gas storage project under construction in Ireland which provides access to three markets; Northern Ireland, the Republic and Britain.
It has highlighted in the past that because of “the intermittent nature of Ireland’s renewable generation” this makes the island “more reliable” on gas storage facilities.
Outlining details of its new EU grant application InfraStrata, which is already in receipt of €4 million of EU funding for the Islandmagee project, said: “Whilst a Brexit “No Deal” generally increases uncertainty, the directors do not believe that it will affect this application as the UK government (as part of the “no deal” papers published) has stated that it will honour PCI (EU Project of Common Interest) project funding in the event of leaving the EU with no deal.”
InfraStrata’s chief executive John Wood has said that the company expects to complete the front end engineering design (FEED) for the Islandmagee project on time and on budget and that its latest EU grant application does not impact on its existing EU funding for the FEED works.
The company said it expects to hear by next February, just before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, if its new grant application to the EU is successful.