Failure to secure gas plant jobs criticised

A Fine Gael councillor has described as “unacceptable” the failure of the Government to bring a 500-plus jobs project to fruition.

Plans to provide a liquefied natural gas plant on a site on the Tarbert/Ballylongford landbank in Shannon estuary have been continuing for six years.

It was envisaged hundreds of jobs would be provided during a four-year construction phase and 50 permanent posts when the Co Kerry plant came into operation.

But Tralee-based Cllr Jim Finucane said it was unacceptable that planning difficulties with the €1bn plant had not been resolved.

The project promoter, Shannon LNG, is a subsidiary of global energy giant, Hess.

Mr Finucane met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week to highlight the urgency of a decision by the Energy Regulator on proposed tariffs for the gas terminal. He said the country was crying out for employment and, yet, a project which would provide hundreds of jobs without cost to the State was being held up.

Public outrage is growing in the region over the delay in the project which will see liquefied gas brought by ships from all over the world, into a site near Ballylongford, converted to gas and piped to the national gas network near Foynes.

A power generating station is also to be built.

But the project has been plagued with red tape and has stalled because of a delay in foreshore licences and, more recently, a lack of clarity over what exactly the position was with regard to tariffs on the gas interconnector with Wales.


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