RNS Releases
09 June 2008 - Portland Gas Files a Patent Application PDF Print E-mail

The Directors of Portland Gas plc (AIM: PTG) (“the Company” or “Portland Gas”) announce that the Company has filed a patent application to the UK Intellectual Property Office describing a system to allow ‘cushion gas’ within a conventional salt cavern to be removed in times of high demand or national emergencies.

For any storage system the gas must be stored at a pressure that is maintained within acceptable limits. To accomplish this, conventional gas storage systems require that a volume of cushion gas is retained at all times to maintain the gas pressure above an acceptable minimum threshold level. The invention allows for the removal of the cushion gas from a cavern during a period of high gas demand by moving a fluid into the cavern to maintain an acceptable pressure of the gas in the cavern.

Commenting on the method, Andrew Hindle, CEO of Portland Gas plc, stated "The effective storage capacity of the cavern is increased and the cushion gas can be viewed as a strategic asset available at times of acute need for the supply of gas to markets.

"In the case of our Northern Ireland project at Larne Lough, we will be reviewing the  feasibility of using seawater to displace the cushion gas in times of a national emergency or very high demand. The cushion gas could provide an additional volume of approximately 290 million cubic metres (‘mcm’) to the proposed normal ‘working gas’ of 500 mcm. Portland Gas estimates this could provide an additional 13 days of supplies to the island of Ireland market in the latter part of the next decade if the project goes ahead. The availability of this gas to the market, particularly at the end of winter when conventional gas stocks are low, would add significantly to security of supply for the island of Ireland and add to other proposed production and import projects, together with other joint initiatives of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Northern Ireland."

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27 May 2008 - Director Share Acquisitions PDF Print E-mail

The Company announces that the Directors below chose to accept the issue to them, or their nominees, of fully paid ordinary shares in the Company in lieu of cash bonuses that otherwise fell due for payment on 24 May 2008. The number of shares so issued and the resultant new beneficial holdings held by the Directors are as follows:

Director Shares Issued New Total Beneficial Holding Percentage of Issued Share Capital
Mark Abbott 2,860 6,687,666 9.86%
Maurice Hazzard 1,144 1,144 <0.01%
Andrew Hindle 22,885 6,617,117 9.75%
Kenneth Ratcliff 4,577 53,000 0.08%
Walter Roberts 16,210 1,042,960 1.54%

The issue price of these shares was 409p (being the middle-market closing price on 23 May 2008, the last trading day before the bonuses were otherwise payable). Application has been made for the new shares to be admitted to trading on AIM with dealings expected to commence on 2 June 2008.

Immediately following the issue of these shares, the total issued ordinary share capital of the Company will be 67,849,516 Ordinary 10p shares.

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16 May 2008 - Planning Permission Granted for Portland Project PDF Print E-mail

The Directors of Portland Gas plc (AIM: PTG) (“the Company” or “Portland Gas”) are pleased to announce that today’s planning committee meeting of Dorset County Council (‘DCC’) resolved to grant planning permission to Portland Gas’ wholly owned subsidiary, Portland Gas Storage Limited, to build a deep underground salt cavern gas storage facility at Portland, Dorset.

Portland Gas submitted a total of seven applications, one to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR, formerly the DTI) for the necessary pipeline and a further six to DCC for the permanent facilities and the temporary storage areas for the pipeline during construction. These six applications all received individual approval at the meeting of the planning committee of DCC and a separate application for Hazardous Substances Consent was also granted. BERR is expected to announce its decision in the near future.
The estimated cost of construction of the project is £500 million. The Company’s financial advisers, NM Rothschild & Sons, will now commence a formal process with potential joint venture partners who have already expressed interest in participating in the project. This process will be targeted at introducing one or more partners as shareholders of up to 50% of the project in consideration for funding the construction costs.
Portland expects this process to complete by late summer 2008. In the meantime some long-lead design work will be undertaken to keep the project timing on track for completion in 2015.

Commenting on the planning approval, Andrew Hindle, the CEO of Portland Gas, said:

“We’re naturally very happy with this decision, especially as it was made in Dorset by local representatives who know and care for this special part of the world.

“The decision is good news for Dorset, and for the nation as a whole today. In national terms, the need for gas storage is urgent and our Portland project will be very important in safeguarding our energy security in the future. Construction will commence this summer and when completed in 2015 will provide a facility to store 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas, approximately 1% of UK annual demand.
“In local terms, the scheme brings many benefits, including the £2 million plus investment in community projects over the next two years including the creation of the Old Engine Shed visitor centre on Portland, for which there was also a resolution to grant permission.”

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12 May 2008 - Strategic Partner joins the Larne project PDF Print E-mail

The Directors of Portland Gas plc (AIM: PTG) (“the Company” or “Portland Gas”) are pleased to announce that its Northern Ireland subsidiary Portland Gas NI Limited has agreed Heads of Terms with Moyle Energy Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Northern Ireland Energy Holdings Limited (“NIEH”), operator of the Scotland to Northern Ireland Pipeline (SNIP), for NIEH to participate in the Larne Lough gas storage project. Under the terms of the agreement NIEH have an option, following completion of a due diligence process and consultation with their stakeholders, to become a joint venture partner taking a 35% equity interest in the Larne Lough project and paying their share of the development costs.

Commenting on the project Andrew Hindle, CEO of Portland Gas plc, said:

“NIEH have been assisting Portland Gas for over a year and their involvement is integral to the success of this strategically important project. They own the gas infrastructure into which the Larne Lough gas storage project would be connected. With their long-term approach and intimate understanding of local customer, regulatory and government needs, the mutual energy infrastructure company is an ideal partner for Portland Gas NI Limited.”

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8 May 2008 - Director Shareholdings PDF Print E-mail

Portland Gas plc (the "Company") was informed today that the wife of Mr Walter Roberts, a Director of Portland Gas plc, has today transferred to him 320,000 ordinary shares by way of gift.

Mr Roberts' total beneficial shareholding in Portland Gas remains unchanged at 1,026,750 ordinary shares, representing 1.514% of the issued and voting share capital of the Company.

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