The project proposed by Shannon LNG (Liquid Natural Gas), which dates to 2006 and which has already been granted planning permission, has been beset by hurdles.
The Commissioner for Energy Regulation (CER) has told Shannon LNG it will have to pay a €10m tariff per year towards the operation and maintenance of gas interconnectors with Britain, but the company is refusing, saying it will not use the interconnectors.
Up to 350 jobs would be created in Tarbert during the build and there would be 50 jobs on completion.
The company plans to import liquefied natural gas by tanker to the terminal where it will be stored in huge tanks. A 30km pipeline will transport the gas to the national grid.
The issue was raised at Monday’s county council meeting against fears the project will not go ahead if the tariff is imposed.
Cllr John Brassil (FF) said the imposition of the tariffs by the regulator was both anti-competition and anti-EU law. Councillors were told that a two-hour meeting between the regulator and a delegation from the council was positive, but county manager Tom Curran is now writing to the Taoiseach to arrange a meeting with him.
A CER spokesman yesterday said the issue was being carefully considered and it was hoped to issue a decision in two months.