Consent has been granted today (29 December 2015) for the operation of the Corrib natural gas pipeline linking the gas subsea facilities to the terminal at Bellanaboy, County Mayo.
Alex White, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, made the consent subject to 20 conditions relating to environmental management, operation, control and monitoring.
The Corrib natural gas field will meet on average 42% of the all-island gas demand over its first two years of operation, and will add to GDP by substituting for imported gas.
Minister White said "The recent Government White Paper on Energy, which I published on 16 December, has set out a trajectory to a low carbon economy by 2050. However, this transition will take time, and fossil fuels will remain part of our energy mix for some years to come, as we first eliminate the most polluting fossil fuels such as coal. In this context, the development of indigenous gas resources will deliver significant and sustained benefits, particularly in terms of enhanced security of supply, import substitution, national and local economic development, and fiscal return."
Full details of the application by the Corrib Gas Partners*, together with the assessment and consent are available on the website of the Minister's Department at www.dcenr.gov.ie
Note to Editors
Section 40 of the Gas Act 1976 , provides that an upstream gas pipeline may not be operated unless consent is granted by the Minister.
"40(1) a person … shall not, without the consent of the Minister ... construct or operate an upstream pipeline on, over or under the surface of land or of any sea bed that is situate in the territorial seas of the State or a designated area."
A consent to construct the pipeline under section 40 of the Gas Act was granted by the then Minister on 25 February 2011, and on 18 August 2015 the Corrib Gas partners submitted an application to operate the pipeline. Notice of the application was published and submissions invited from the public and statutory consultees before 25 September.
*Shell E&P Ireland Limited, Statoil Exploration (Ireland) Limited and Vermillion Energy