That is according to Sean Kelly MEP (Ireland South) who was yesterday commenting on the EU Commission, including the project being on the list of key European Projects of Common Interest to integrate Europe’s energy markets and diversify sources.
The project, planned for a 287-acre site at Ballylongford, Co Kerry, has been stalled for a number of years and it was revealed earlier this week that US oil giant, Hess Corporation is looking to sell up in order for another industry firm to proceed with the construction of the terminal.
If a buyer comes forward and the terminal is built, the LNG project will provide 650 jobs during the four-year construction phase with 50 permanent operational jobs, thereafter.
Mr Kelly told the Irish Examiner yesterday that the project’s new status “will make it much more attractive for investors.”
He said that the LNG project “will now benefit from improved regulatory treatment and increased funding opportunities under the Connecting Europe Facility”.
“The evidence is there, projects that the Commission identifies as being of key strategic importance are being built.”
Hess purchased the land in 2006 and secured planning permission in 2008 for the gas terminal.
The initial target was to have the plant opened by 2013 and a total of €63.4m has been spent on the project to date.