Despite numerous obstacles which have stalled a €600m liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed for the Shannon Estuary, the Government is still in contact with the company about the project.
Shannon LNG plans to build a huge plant near Ballylongford, Co Kerry, have been mired in legal difficulties for the past three years, amid claims that the Government is not giving enough support to the project.
However, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte says he has recently been in contact with the company to help “facilitate’’ the proposed investment.
Upwards of 400 jobs would be provided during the four-year construction and around 50 jobs on completion.
Shannon LNG also wants to build a €400m combined heat and power plant on the site.
However, the company is opposed to paying tariffs for an interconnector linking Ireland’s gas supplies to Britain, saying that it should not have to pay when it will not be using the interconnector. The company has an appeal on the tariffs issue before the Supreme Court, which may not be ruled on for a year or two.
Mr Rabbitte said he had consistently supported the terminal proposal which would give additional security of gas supply and connectivity for the first time to the global liquid natural gas market.
Also, replying to a Dáil question from Kerry Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, the minister pointed out that the regulation of the gas market was the responsibility of the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), an independent body.
He ruled out setting up a multi-departmental task force to progress the project.
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