The Orlen Group has started the expansion of the Underground Gas Storage in Wierzchowice. After its completion, at the turn of 2025 and 2026, the capacity of the installation will increase by 60% to 2.1 billion m3. As a result, Wierzchowice will have about half of the national storage capacity, which will exceed 4.1 billion m3. The value of the investment is PLN 576 million.
“Thanks to the expansion of the storage facility in Wierzchowice, at the cost of PLN 576 million, the total capacity of domestic gas storage facilities will increase by as much as 25% and will exceed 4.1 billion m3. With such a reserve, we will be better prepared in the event of possible interruptions in supplies from abroad or a sharp increase in demand during a period of severe cold. Thus, the expansion of the storage facilities is part of our strategic goal of strengthening the country’s energy security. We are not only increasing the possibility of accumulating gas stocks, but we are also investing in our own production in Poland and Norway, we are concluding new contracts for the purchase of raw material and we are expanding the fleet of LNG carriers,” said President Daniel Obajtek during a press conference.
As a result of the expansion, the working capacity of UGS Wierzchowice, the largest underground gas storage facility in Poland, will increase by 800 million m3 from the current 1.3 billion m3 to 2.1 billion m3. This means increasing the capacity of the national storage system by a quarter. In turn, the capacity of gas injection to this installation will increase by one third – to 19.2 million m3 per day, and the reception capacity will be increased by 66% – to 24 million m3 per day. This will translate into greater flexibility of the installation and the ability to quickly respond to the changing market situation. Completion of the investment is planned at the turn of 2025 and 2026.
“Thanks to the fact that gas storage facilities are 95% full, we are fully prepared for the coming winter,” added the president.
The Wierzchowice Underground Gas Storage Facility is the largest facility of this type in Poland, using the former natural gas deposit as storage capacity. It is located in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in the communes of Milicz and Krośnice.
The implementation of the investment will consist in the drilling of three new boreholes enabling the injection and collection of gas from storage facilities and compressor installations. Orlen has just started drilling the first well. A Bentec walking device was used for the work, which makes it possible to drill subsequent holes without the need to disassemble and reassemble, because the drill rig moves independently between subsequent locations.
The three key contractors for the investment are companies from the Orlen capital group. PGNiG Technologie is the main contractor supervising the investment. Gazoprojekt has developed the investment project, and Exalo Drilling will perform the planned drillings.
The Orlen Group owns 7 underground high-methane gas storage facilities with a total capacity of approx. 3.3 billion m3. Five underground gas storage facilities: Wierzchowice, Strachocina, Husów, Swarzów and Brzeźnica are deposit storage facilities located in depleted natural gas and crude oil deposits. Two, in Kosakowo and Mogilno, are cavern warehouses located in salt caverns.
In 2022, the total consumption of natural gas in Poland amounted to almost 17 billion m3.
The Orlen Group manages refineries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania, conducts retail operations in Central Europe, mining operations in Poland, Norway, Canada and Pakistan, as well as energy production, including renewable energy sources, and natural gas distribution. As part of building a multi-energy concern, the company finalized the acquisitions of Energa, Grupa Lotos and PGNiG. Its consolidated sales revenues reached PLN 277.56 billion in 2022. The company has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 1999; is included in the WIG20 index.