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Go ahead for £500m gas storage

A £500 million project to create underground caverns to store 1 per cent of the UK’s total gas demand has been given the green light by Dorset County Council.

The natural gas storage facility will house 1,000 million cubic metres of gas underneath Portland Port.

Portland Gas Storage will create 14, 100m-high caverns, one and a half miles underground.

Construction work will start this summer with all the storage space available for the winter of 2015.

South Dorset MP Jim Knight said: “The gas storage project is in the national interest and it brings substantial benefits to people in South Dorset.”

The project will bring more than £2 million investment for local projects over the next two years as well as creating 25 jobs.

Portland Gas CEO Andrew Hindle said: “The decision is good news for South Dorset and for the nation as a whole. In national terms, the need for gas storage is urgent and Portland will be very important in safeguarding our energy security in the future.”

Portland Gas submitted seven applications, one to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for the pipeline, and a further six to Dorset County Council for the permanent facilities and the temporary storage areas for the pipeline during construction.

These six applications all received individual approval by the planning committee. The council also granted Hazardous Substances Consent.

BERR is expected to announce its decision in the near future.