View into the salt-dome
Aerial view of the site

Germany’s first natural gas storage cavern

In the early 1960s, the German city of Kiel started planning a high-capacity underground cavern. The Honigsee salt dome in Kiel-Rönne, 8 km south of Kiel, proved suitable.

In 1971, Kiel K101 started operating – Germany’s first natural gas storage cavern! The salt level is lower than in most other German caverns. From 1967, a cavity was leached in depths ranging from 1,307 m to 1,335 m and reached a size of approximately 32,000 cubic metres. This corresponds to a capacity of 2 million m³ of working gas. The cavern is used for storing gas to this day.

With the initial filling of Kiel K102 in 1996, the city commissioned its second natural gas cavern. Leaching began in late 1992 at depths between 1,400 m and 1,600 m. The cavern finally reached a height of about 160 m and an average diameter of approximately 60 m, making it roughly 30 times larger than K101. The access hole for K102 was drilled in an S-shape. Today, this is nothing special; at the time, it was a pioneering achievement.

Kiel K103 was finally completed in 2012. With an approximate volume of 500,000 m³ it is designed to be much more larger than K101 and K102. The capacity should be enough to heat 60,000 single-family homes for a year.

The former KBB (since 2004 KBB Underground Technologies GmbH) has provided geological and technical planning and construction services. A proven team, DEEP. Underground Engineering and KBB UT supported the construction of K103. The city of Kiel can also rely on this support for the maintenance of the existing caverns.