In 2017, we were given planning permission to store natural gas in newly created cavities located at the Holford Brinefield. We are now looking to amend this consent to give the option of storing hydrogen rather than natural gas. If the change is approved, we will use 19 new underground cavities to store 1,300 gigawatt hours of hydrogen – more clean energy than any other facility and enough to heat more than 100,000 homes for an entire year.

Once the brine has been removed from the cavities it is sent to the INOVYN operations at Runcorn and to other customers in the chemical industry.

The location of the proposed cavities is the same as those consented through the existing Development Consent Order (DCO) and can be seen on the diagram below.

Consented KGSP Cavity Locations


A summary of the proposed development, the ‘Proposal Summary Document’ can be downloaded by visiting the Library page by clicking here.

What development is planned?

1. Holford Brinefield – the main gas storage site


Brine will be solution mined to create up to 19 new underground cavities that will then be used to store natural gas. Proposed infrastructure in this area also includes a Gas Processing Plant.

To download a detailed map of this area click here

To download an artist’s impression of a gas storage wellhead click here

2. Lostock Tanks

Two new brine processing tanks will be built on the Lostock Works Site, off Griffiths Road, Northwich.

To download a detailed map of this area click here

To download an artist’s impression of the proposed development at Lostock Works click here


4. Runcorn

The existing pipeline, which currently transports brine into INOVYN ChlorVinyls at Runcorn, will be extended within the site boundary. No gas will be transported to or stored at the Runcorn Site as part of this proposed development.

To download a detailed map of this area click here

To download an artist’s impression of the proposed pipeline extension at Runcorn click here


5. Lostock Saturators

The brine is pumped to existing brine cavities to the north of Lach Dennis where it is ‘saturated’ to make it a more concentrated brine solution.  As the cavities are existing and no new development is taking place here, this feature was not part of the original DCO application.

6. Pipeline

An existing pipeline (which runs from the Lostock Brine Purification Plant in Northwich to the INOVYN ChlorVinyls Site in Weston Point, Runcorn) will continue to be used to transport brine to the INOVYN operations. The pipeline will not be used to transport gas and all of the gas storage will take place at the Holford Brinefield.

As the pipeline is existing and no new development is taking place here, this feature was not part of the original DCO application.

What is planned to change at the KGSP site?

In reality, the changes to the Project are minor in nature. The original consent states that the cavities will be used to store natural gas. The main change is ensuring that the consent states hydrogen can also be stored in the cavities.

The location, amount, size and construction method of the 19 cavities is not planned to change.

The changes we plan to request are:

  1. Amendment of the definition of ‘gas’ to include ‘hydrogen’
  2. Amendment to reference of ‘National Grid’s National Transmission System’, to give greater flexibility to connect to both the national system and any future hydrogen network
  3. Relocation of the planned office building
  4. An option to include an alternative location of the planned gas connection compound

Bullets 3 and 4 are the only proposed physical changes to the layout. The current planned locations and proposed planned locations are show on the diagrams below.

All other aspects of the Project, including the entrance to the site on King Street, the site road network, the layout of gas processing plant and electricity supply infrastructure would remain the same. No changes are proposed at the locations beyond the main Holford Brinefield site at Whitley, Lostock and Runcorn

The Planning Process

Because of the importance of the Project in helping the UK meet its increasing energy need, the KGSP was classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). As such, rather than going through the local authority, the DCO was granted by the Secretary of Statement for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This process was managed by the Planning Inspectorate. The KGSP has a webpage on the Planning Inspectorate website.

The change application will be the same. We are working with the Planning Inspectorate and plan to submit the application to them before the end of 2022.

Before we do, we are consulting the local communities, authorities, statutory bodies and other stakeholders on the proposed change.

Environmental Considerations

The original DCO application included an extensive Environmental Statement, which considered all aspects of the Project; any potential impacts on the environment; and, where necessary, any mitigation measures. You can view this in the Library.

As part of the change application, we’ve prepared an Environmental Report. Our team, in preparing the report, has considered whether there would be any new or different likely effects as a result of the planned changes.

The proposed change will not result in any significant changes in environmental impacts including noise and vibration; ground conditions; traffic and transport; and socio-economics.

Updated reports have also confirmed no significant impacts as a result of the change, with the areas considered below. You can read the full Environmental Report here.