THE £15million demolition of Barrow’s redundant gas terminal will create a site as significant as Moorside, a leading economic expert says.

Stuart Klosinski, programme manager of the Furness Economic Development Forum (FEDF), said the announcement by Spirit Energy that work would start imminently at South Morecambe Terminal, raised interesting questions about the site’s future.

He said: “When it is demolished, it will mean it is a 204ha site – about the same size as Moorside in West Cumbria.

“That means we have two significant sites for energy developments in Cumbria.

“It has the potential for new opportunities and these are wide ranging.”

He said possible uses could include a battery storage site – similar to the battery storage near the site, which is one of the largest in Europe.

Centrica’s 49 megawatt battery, built on the site of the former gas-fired Roosecote power station in Rampside Road, is able to come online in less than a second to meet fluctuations in demand and is able to hold enough power to provide energy for around 50,000 homes.

Mr Klosinski said: “There are several other options, like liquefied gas, and all have the potential for creating work for local and national companies.

“FEDF looks forward to working with companies like Spirit Energy to exploit the energy opportunities to fuel the whole of the UK.”

The demolition work will take around 12 months and it follows two years of preparatory work.

A spokesman for Spirit Energy said it was too early to say what would happen to the site, which still includes office accommodation.

Spirit Energy redirected all of the gas from its Morecambe Bay fields to the North Morecambe Terminal as part of an £85million project in 2016, meaning the older South Morecambe Terminal is no longer required.

The North Morecambe Terminal now processes enough gas to heat 1.5million UK homes.

The demolition will lead to more than 14,000 tonnes of concrete, metal and equipment being removed from the site.

Spirit Energy said more than 90 per cent of the infrastructure would be reused or recycled.

John Gordon, project manager, said: “The North Morecambe Terminal has now been successfully processing all of the gas we produce in Morecambe Bay for two years, using a more environmentally-friendly technique to process the gas than the older equipment at the south terminal.

“Removing that equipment is a significant milestone in the history of the Barrow gas terminals – but this is the latest in a series of major investments in our Morecambe Bay operations to ensure we continue safely producing gas for hundreds of thousands of UK homes.”

The South Morecambe Terminal started processing gas from Morecambe Bay in 1985. As more fields were discovered in the East Irish Sea, the North Morecambe Terminal was built in 1994.