The project has been approved by the Commission for Energy Regulation.
Kerry Ingredients, the Kerry Group flagship dairy plant which is based in Listowel, has been engaged as ‘an anchor load’ , ensuring it is commercially feasible for gas to be delivered to the greater Listowel area and within the town, according to Denis O’Sullivan, head of commercial with Gas Networks Ireland.
Jim Lee, operations director with Kerry Dairy Division, said the availability of piped natural gas in Listowel will see Kerry Group going ahead with a planned investment in combined heat and power for its Listowel operation, providing an environmentally friendly energy source for the plant and reducing energy costs.
The exact route from Foynes has to be determined but a 40km feeder main pipeline will be brought from the Irish Gas Networks station near the Co Limerick port town, mainly along public roads. The feeder pipeline work, and the distribution within Listowel town will be in two phases and take up to two years and be subject to planning permission and other statutory approvals.
The pipeline work is due to begin in March/ April 2017 followed a year later by the town distribution works.
Gas Networks Ireland said that it is engaging with landowners, residents, businesses and relevant authorities in the area before starting construction.
Gas pipes are been laid within the town in tandem with council road works and water works in William Street in the town centre.
Mayor of Listowel, Fine Gael councillor Aoife Thornton, said the investment was an enormous boost for Listowel.
“The continued sustainability of Kerry Group is hugely important to the town,” Ms Thornton said.
About 650,000 Irish homes and 23,000 multinational and Irish businesses depend on natural gas for their energy needs. n Businesses interested in getting more information on connecting to the natural gas network should contact Gas Networks Ireland on 1850 411 511 or visit gasnetworks.ie.