To help meet the increasing demand for natural gas in Nova Scotia, Alton Natural Gas Storage L.P. is developing an underground natural gas storage facility and associated pipelines near Alton, Nova Scotia. Alton Natural Gas Storage L.P. is a subsidiary of AltaGas, an energy infrastructure business with a focus on natural gas, power and regulated utilities. AltaGas creates value by acquiring, growing and optimizing its energy infrastructure, including a focus on clean energy sources.
The Alton Natural Gas Storage facility will support Nova Scotia's need for dependable, clean, and economical energy, especially during the winter season. The facility will consist of underground salt caverns to store natural gas until it is needed for heating homes, businesses, hospitals, universities and potentially for gas-fired generation.
Salt caverns for gas storage are a proven and safe system for storing natural gas. The caverns will be approximately 1,000 metres deep. To provide hole stability and protect any porous formations, two strings of protective casings were set and cemented during the drilling operations. The caverns will take two to three years to complete once brining begins.
Alton Natural Gas Storage will consist of:
- Underground natural gas storage facility consisting of engineered salt caverns
- Lateral gas pipeline linking the Alton facility with the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline natural gas transmission system
- Water pipelines from the facility to the convergence of the Shubenacadie and Stewiacke Rivers for the cavern development process
The project has received all environmental and major regulatory approvals to proceed with development. Construction at the site, which included clearing, facility pads and roads, started in 2008. Drilling has been completed on the three natural gas storage salt caverns and brining is expected to begin later in 2017 or early in 2018.