Press release 31 January 2023

Launch of a call for expressions of interest

"Open Season" for the creation of an underground hydrogen storage facility in Manosque (04)

Géométhane, owner of the Manosque underground natural gas storage site located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department (France), is calling on all local stakeholders to express their interest in a massive hydrogen storage project in salt caverns on the Manosque site.

The Open Season will be open for one and a half months, from 1st February to 15 March 2023. This first, non-binding stage aims to confirm the technical and economic interest of a hydrogen storage infrastructure by quantifying and qualifying the needs of the region's manufacturers.

To take part in the project, Géométhane invites entrepreneurs to fill in an online expression of interest form.

Stakeholders will then be contacted by Géométhane's teams to discuss their needs in more detail.

Click here to complete the questionnaire

Provisional project schedule:

February/March 2023: Open Season
March/September 2023: Feasibility studies
September 2023: Launch of preliminary engineering studies (FEED) and permitting

A large-scale project for the development of the hydrogen sector

Initiated in 2017, the Manosque hydrogen storage project is taking a step forward with the launch of the Open Season, which will take place in two phases.

During this first, non-binding phase, the various market players - producers or consumers - are invited to express their interest in this salt cavern hydrogen storage infrastructure. The first impressions gathered by Géométhane are essential for sizing the project, qualifying and quantifying the needs of companies, carrying out a feasibility study, creating suitable infrastructures, specifying the technical elements (underground and above ground), and finally proposing a financial estimate and a schedule for completion.

If the interest of the market is confirmed, Géométhane will define the conditions of access to the works and the decision conditions for its realisation, in consultation with the interested parties, to launch a second, binding phase.

Storage: a major need in the Fos-Lavera-Marseille decarbonated hydrogen consumption basin

The challenges of security of supply for industry and compatibility with European directives on the development of renewable energies highlight the imperative need for massive storage (several thousand tonnes) for the Fos-Lavera-Marseille decarbonated hydrogen consumption basin. The Manosque underground salt caverns are a response to adjust hydrogen production and consumption curves, manage the intermittency of renewable energies, and constitute tools for flexibility and optimisation of electricity networks. The caverns will be connected to the GRTgaz transport network through the HynfraMed project to link Manosque to the Fos-Lavera-Marseille basin.

The Manosque storage site

In total, Géométhane has nine salt caverns, seven of which have been used for natural gas storage for the past 25 years and are operated by Storengy. The two remaining caverns are available, technically and administratively suitable for storing hydrogen.

Today, the storage capacity of these cavities amounts to about 6,000 tonnes of hydrogen. However, if the results of the Open Season show a greater need for storage, it may be possible to increase the volume or even create new caverns.

About Géométhane:

Géométhane is an Economic Interest Grouping (EIG) whose equal members are Storengy France and Géosud.

Located in the communes of Dauphin and Manosque, the Géométhane facilities are established on two separate sites, less than 3 km apart: the Gaude site, where the surface facilities are located, and the Gontard site, where the salt caverns are located.

Press contact:

Jean-Michel NOE - Chairman