Natural gas storage facility in Etzel, Northern Germany

The national gas markets in Europe are changing rapidly. Continuous liberalisation, dependency on gas imports from outside the EU, and increasing consumer demand have stepped up the need for strategic as well as commercial storage facilities. Ramboll has been deeply involved in these developments since the 1990s and in 2008 we assisted Etzel-Kavernenbetriebsgesellschaft mbH & CO. KG with the development of the Etzel salt cavern storage facility near Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

Europe's new energy hub

The project was part of a large scale gas storage and export project, Project Viking, which included a 48", 60 kilometer, high pressure gas pipeline between the gas plant and the Dutch national grid. The Etzel storage facility will help ensure a steady supply of gas, and act as a key European energy hub. Without such reliable storage facilities as Etzel, our lives would be hampered by seasonal demand fluctuations and unexpected supply disruptions.

Engineering assistance for six projected caverns

Ramboll acted as lead engineer for Etzel-Kavernenbetriebsgesellschaft mbH & CO. KG, which consists of the partner group pf BP, ZMB and DONG Energy. Ramboll was responsible for two design stages; conceptual design and detailed front end engineering design (FEED). We also handled supervision of the above ground facilities on the first six projected caverns, each with a 650,000 m3 geometrical volume. The above ground facilities are responsible for processing the injection and withdrawal of gas. In addition Ramboll prepared cost estimates for the above ground gas storage facilities as part of the client’s tender material for an EPC contract.

Ramboll's services included:

  • Engineering management 
  • Cost and time control 
  • Environmental evaluations 
  • Risk analyses
  • Availability studies 
  • Authority approval 
  • Concept FEED, FEED and detailed FEED engineering 
  • Specification of long lead items 
  • Cost estimation


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