Skip to main content

Controversial Corrib gas will flow within weeks

Aine Ryan - Mayo News

ALMOST two decades after its discovery, the Corrib Gas field  has been given its penultimate permission, an industrial emissions licence, by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The final statutory permission for the €3.6bn project is expected to be issued very soon by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, clearing the way for the gas to flow from the Bellanaboy refinery.  
The industrial emissions licence allows for the ‘operation of a gas refinery’ and the ‘combustion of fuels’.Welcoming the development, Shell E&P Ireland confirmed in a statement that the project was now ‘technically ready’. 
“Shell awaits the final regulatory approval and looks forward to delivering gas and the many long-term benefits that will flow from Corrib,” a spokesman for the company said. 
The revised EPA licence was issued with a number of conditions. The original Integrated Pollution Prevention Control Licence (IPPC) was issued in 2007, after an oral hearing. However, the company conceded to a review, demanded by Erris fishermen, regarding the location of an outfall pipe for ‘treated produced water’  on the edge of Broahaven Bay, adjacent to rich fishing grounds. 
In a preliminary decision, the EPA recommended a revised licence last April which led to eight objections, including one from Shell. The environmental agency declined to hold an oral hearing into the revised application, which was requested by 1,160 people.
The projected spend of €250m on the controversial project this year will lead to the overall costs exceeding €3.6bn. 
This is more than four times the original estimate of €800m for the project, which is 12 years behind its original projected completion time of 2003.
The final statutory permission to operate the 91-km raw gas pipeline comes from the Department of Natural Resources and is under Section 40 of the Gas Acts.

Posted Date: 
14 October 2015