Fast-Track Delivery of Energy Storage Caverns
This salt cavern complex for storage of natural gas liquids (NGLs) in Brazoria County in southern Texas is being developed in two phases. The facility will support a new fractionation plant. Phase one, which represents a considerable portion of the overall facility, is complete.
We provided engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services on a fast track for development of phase one facilities. Our work involved surface and subsurface feasibility and design engineering; drilling of five storage cavern wells and six high-rate brine disposal wells; design and construction of a 12,000-horsepower leaching plant and associated infrastructure; initial solution mining of the first three caverns, and construction of a 1.2-million-barrel brine pond.
Overcoming Site Challenges
The first phase of the project was successfully delivered on a highly accelerated schedule, despite unusually wet weather and significant site challenges. For example, the site elevation had to be raised by eight feet before construction of the leach plant could begin, which meant substantial earthwork had to be performed under consistently rainy conditions. A temporary on-site power plant was also constructed to support ongoing operations and keep the project on schedule.
Despite the challenges, the leaching plant was designed and built in five and one-half months—less than half the time normally required. The caverns were solution-mined, tested and delivered about six months later. Our extensive experience in the development of solution-mined storage facilities was a key factor in the successful delivery of the project.