Groningen is a giant natural gas field located near Slochteren in the Groningen province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. Discovered in 1959, it is the largest natural gas field in Europe and the tenth-largest in the world. However, the gas extraction is causing earthquakes. Since 1986, there have been around 1,000 earthquakes in the northeast of the Netherlands caused by the exploitation of the Groningen gas field near Slochteren. The strongest earthquake ever registered in the northeastern province of Groningen had a magnitude of 3.6 and occurred in Huizinge on 16 August 2013.
If the frequency of tremors keeps increasing at this pace, by 2025 the region will be hit by earthquakes daily. While moderate in magnitude, the sheer number of events acts as a physical stressor to living conditions and gives an adverse outlook long term on structural integrity of homes and buildings.
The Groningen National Coordinator (NCG) is a collaboration of six Groningen municipalities in the earthquake zone, the province of Groningen and the national government.
From 1 January 2020, NCG is the implementing organization for the reinforcement task. In fact, NCG is in charge of the strengthening of the houses, buildings and infrastructure (such as roads and dikes) in the earthquake zone of the province of Groningen.
Hopper Engineering and Consultancy is involved as advisor in the innovation and acceleration team.