Gas Networks Ireland has secured funding of €100m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) as part of its investment in the country's energy network.
The funding will underpin a total €205m investment which aims to modernise and extend Ireland's gas network, including the completion of the Scotland – Ireland interconnector project whereby a 50km parallel connection between Cluden and Brighouse in Scotland will be constructed.
It will also facilitate innovation projects such as renewable gas and compressed natural gas, and the project will benefit over 700,000 customers nationwide, Gas Networks Ireland says.
Natural gas currently provides over a third of Ireland’s energy requirement and helps to generate over 50% of the country's electricity.
Gas Networks Ireland says it intends to deliver 20% of all gas on the network from renewable sources by 2030.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton said he was delighted to see today's investment.
"Gas has largely displaced higher CO2 emitting fossil fuels in Ireland’s generation mix and that has played a part in the reduction in emissions from power generation that we announced this week," he said.
"We have recently announced funding for a Gas Networks Ireland renewable gas project and it is my belief that these investments will have a lasting economic and environmental benefit for Ireland.”
Gas Networks Ireland, Managing Director, Denis O’Sullivan, said: “This finance is a further endorsement of our strategy to provide Ireland with a secure and competitive energy supply while also playing a major role in decarbonizing our economy.
President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, said: “The EU Bank has a strong track record of supporting energy investment across Ireland.
"New investment by Gas Networks Ireland, supported by the EUR 100 million of new financing from the EU Bank, will strengthen security of energy supply to customers across the country and ensure an alternative to oil and coal.”