Plan for €20m aviation fuel pipeline to Dublin Airport opposed

Dublin residents living along the route of a planned €20m aviation-fuel pipeline to Dublin Airport have raised safety concerns.

Plan for €20m aviation fuel pipeline to Dublin Airport opposed

Last month, Dublin City Council gave the green light to Fingleton White Ltd for the 11km section of the pipeline that passes through city council territory.

In June, Fingal County Council granted planning for the remaining 3km of the pipeline, which commences at Dublin Port.

The Fingal decision wasn’t appealed to An Bord Pleanála, but three appeals have been lodged by parties against the City Council decision, with the board ruling out a fourth appeal, lodged by Deputy Tommy Broughan, on a technicality.

Fingleton White say that the fuel demand at Dublin Airport results in 15,000 tanker journeys a year to Dublin Port and that a UK study has concluded “that the operation of the proposed pipeline has a significantly lower level of risk”.

Current aviation fuel usage at Dublin Airport is 630m litres a year.

That is projected to rise to 1.45bn litres a year by 2035. As much as 96% of the pipeline is within the road carriageway and Fingleton White say that the transportation of aviation fuel by pipeline is not a new concept and is in operation at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Amsterdam and Frankfurt airports.

The main shareholders in the project are Fingleton White and Reynolds Logistics, which transports by road-tanker 60% of aviation fuel from the port to the airport.

The application states that the plan “provides a sustainable and secure means of fuel supply for Dublin Airport” and that the safest way to transport aviation fuel is by pipeline.

However, the residents’ association of Copeland Avenue, at Clontarf, are one of three parties to appeal the decision. The residents state that Copeland Avenue “is a 100% residential street and we submit that this is not an appropriate street through which to route a major piece of infrastructure”.

Raising safety concerns, the residents say that this pipeline “will introduce an ongoing threat of rupture, leakage and possible ignition for all those living along the route”. They also say that there is a history of damage to high-pressure fuel pipelines in the UK, in spite of safety regulation.

Deputy Broughan objected at City Council level, but didn’t include proof of his council submission, which resulted in it being declared invalid.

Deputy Broughan said: “Constituents ask why this pipeline, and any such routes through densely populated residential areas, are needed at all. They correctly point to the presence of the €800m port tunnel, which, over the past eight years, has diverted heavy commercial traffic out of Dublin Port, along the 4.5km tunnel, out past Santry and just 2km further north along the M1 to Dublin Airport.”

Deputy Brougham said that proposing a kerosene pipeline through densely populated residential districts was ill-thought-out.

“I believe no cost-benefit analysis will show that the construction of an expensively built, and possibly very dangerous, oil pipeline through densely inhabited residential areas of Dublin Bay North is safer, and more cost-effective, than the existing, simple system of oil transportation through the Dublin Port Tunnel, which was a key reason for its construction.”

A decision is due by the appeals board in March.

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