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Centrica PLC

28 October 2022

28 October 2022

Centrica re-opens Rough storage facility

Rough operational for Winter and increases UK's storage capacity by 50%

Centrica has announced the reopening of the Rough gas storage facility, having completed significant engineering upgrades over the summer and commissioning over early autumn.

The initial investment programme means the company has made its first injection of gas into the site in over 5 years and is in a position to store up to 30 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas for UK homes and businesses over winter 2022/23, boosting the UK's energy resilience.

The work done so far means that Rough is operating at around 20% of its previous capacity this winter, immediately making it the UK's largest gas storage site once again and adding 50% to the UK's gas storage volume. Rough will help to balance the UK's gas market, injecting gas into the facility when prices are low and putting that gas back into the UK's gas network when demand is higher.

Centrica's long-term aim is to turn the Rough gas field into the largest long duration energy storage facility in Europe, capable of storing both natural gas and hydrogen.

The UK has diverse gas supplies with connections with Norway and other European countries and a number of LNG import terminals. However, it still has some of the lowest levels of gas storage in Europe at 9 days, compared to Germany at 89 days, France at 103 days and the Netherlands at 123 days. The flexibility in Rough allows cheaper gas to be stored ready for winter, helping to reduce or stabilise costs for UK energy consumers.

Centrica Group Chief Executive, Chris O'Shea, said "I'm delighted that we have managed to return Rough to storage operations for this winter following a substantial investment in engineering modifications. Our long-term aim remains to turn the Rough field into the world's biggest methane and hydrogen storage facility, bolstering the UK's energy security, delivering a net zero electricity system by 2035, decarbonising the UK's industrial clusters, such as the Humber region by 2040, and helping the UK economy by returning to being a net exporter of energy.

In the short term we think Rough can help our energy system by storing natural gas when there is a surplus and producing this gas when the country needs it during cold snaps and peak demand. Rough is not a silver bullet for energy security, but it is a key part of a range of steps which can be taken to help the UK this winter."

Ends

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