A hugely significant €93.8m infrastructure project has been given approval with EU grant aid set to cover over a third of its funding. The project would bolster Ireland’s long-term energy security.
The Commission for Energy Regulation yesterday approved the construction of a 50km natural gas pipeline to be built between Cluden and Brighouse Bay in Scotland. The project will be the final step in the full twinning of the two existing gas interconnectors linking Ireland and the UK and will act as back-up if anything were to happen to the existing Scotland-Ireland link that could result in a halt to Ireland’s gas supply.
“Developing this new connection will greatly enhance the security of our gas supply and help us to extend the supply of natural gas to more homes and businesses across the country,” said the general manager of Ireland’s gas network operator Gaslink, Aidan O’Sullivan, yesterday.
Work will begin next year and will take about 18 months to complete. While the State will foot the bulk of the bill for the project, EU funding will cover nearly €34m of the total cost. Identified as a project of common interest under EU legislation it is also only one of six projects to be awarded construction funds in the first round of the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility funding round.
“We’re delighted with the Commission for Energy Regulation’s endorsement of the EU Commission’s decision to provide substantial financial assistance for the completion of the interconnector system, which links Ireland and the UK and plays a critically important role in the Irish economy,” Mr O’Sullivan added.
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