Health, Safety, Security and Environment
Health, Safety, Security
Underground gas storage using depleted reservoirs is a proven technology with hundreds of facilities operating safely all over the world. Health and safety is our number one priority. Effective Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) management are the top priorities of our business. Our fundamental approach is established through our HSSE Management System and we measure performance and results through comprehensive audits and self-assessments. The HSSE department works with colleagues across our business to support TAQA’s activities, such as the investment strategy, as well as supporting our relationships with other stakeholders including suppliers, minority investments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and industry groups. TAQA’s HSSE strategy is designed to add value to the business by aligning closely with our overall value chain. Each year we will focus proactively on the acquisition, integration/optimisation and operational phases.
We strive to minimise the environmental impact of our gas storage facilities. As a result of using the most advanced technology our state-of-the-art gas treatment facility is free of carbon dioxide emissions: zero emission.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available. Even so, in a bid to tackle climate change and in line with European policy, the Dutch Government wants 14 percent of all energy consumption in the Netherlands to come from renewable sources such as solar power and wind by 2020. Gas Storage Bergermeer has a role to play in meeting this ambitious target. That is because when these renewable sources are unable to meet our energy demand, people will still be able to rely on a ready supply of natural gas – whatever the weather.
Nature and wildlife
We have taken significant steps to protect local wildlife during the construction of Gas Storage Bergermeer. Since 2009, we have set aside an 18 hectare field next to the drilling site to create a new nesting area for birds before and during the drilling. This land is being managed to create a safe habitat that will allow birds to nest and breed. Protected plants have been replanted elsewhere.
Together with the excavated earth, plants are returned to their original place to allow plants such as the marsh marigold meadow to flourish again. A a further 30 hectares of land close to the Bergermeer well site will be set aside as a nature reserve to ensure that the Bergermeerpolder retains its unique environment for years to come.
The possibility of tremors
Three independent institutes, KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute), TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), have concluded that the risk of tremors as a result of gas production in the past and gas storage as such is small. All scientists have said that the risk of earth tremors as a result of Gas Storage Bergermeer operations will not increase compared to when gas was produced from the Bergermeer reservoir. Most scientists have said that the risk of earth tremors will actually decrease. In the unlikely event of a tremor resulting from gas production or storage and any sustained damage to property, TAQA will compensate for the damage.