Ireland’s 500 million euro (US$538 million) Shannon LNG import terminal on the country’s Atlantic coast is reportedly back on track amid Brexit energy concerns, according to a report last week by the Dublin-based Irish Examiner.
The project has been shelved since 2008, just two years after planning was granted, because of a row over pipeline fees.
The project was asked by the country’s energy regulator to pay a 50 million euro (US$54 million) per year levy for two interconnecting pipelines between Ireland and the UK, which the company claimed it would not use.
Former project owner Hess, in frustration over the energy regulator’s request, eventually pulled out of the project and sold its interests early last year.
To date, around 67 million euros (US$72 million) has already been invested in the project.
The Irish Examiner said that the project had received the support of a new investor, with interest piqued by renewed support for the project. The report, however, did not identify the investor.
Irish Energy Minister Denis Naughten has recently said that the project is one of the key opportunities for offsetting energy security risks following Brexit.
The project is now so significant that funding may be made available from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and the European Investment Bank (EIB), with it now designated as a European Project of Common Interest (PCI) following a significant lobbying campaign led by MEP Sean Kelly, the news report added.
“This project is not just an option, it is becoming an imperative. We’re actually by far and away the most vulnerable of all the 28 member states in the EU now,” Kelly said. He added that “Shannon LNG is the best solution available to us post-Brexit from a supply security perspective.”
The UK’s surprise vote to leave the European Union last July created wide implications not only for its domestic gas and LNG market but also on its neighbours. Ireland, an EU member, has close gas and power trading links with the UK mainland. If developed, Shannon LNG, expected to be located in County Kerry, would have a regasification capacity of 28.3 mcm per day of gas, four LNG tanks and jetties that could accommodate Q-Max LNG carriers.