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Gildernew meets NIE over North-South Electricity Inter-connector

29 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has met with representatives of NIE regarding proposals for a new North-South electricity inter-connector.

The proposals include a new substation close to the existing Magherafelt/Tandragee line and some 35 Kilometres of 400 kV overhead line in the north. This will link to around 45 Kilometres of new overhead line to be built south of the border to a new substation in mid-Cavan.

During the meeting the Minister said:

"I welcome the opportunity to discuss the proposed project and the development of the Single Electricity Market. I recognise that the construction of the second North-South electricity inter-connector is important for a competitive market and for robust infrastructure that will enhance security of supply."

The Minister highlighted a number of issues regarding the potential impacts on landowners and rural dwellers in the proposed route corridor extending from East Tyrone to South Armagh. Of particular concern were the effects on welfare, property, the impact on the rural landscape and the disruption of farming activities.

Speaking on behalf of NI Electricity (NIE) Clement Harvey, NIE Project Manager, reassured the Minister that a series of open days had been held and a consultation process was underway with landowners and interested parties living in the area. He also stated that a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment is being prepared.

Ms Gildernew added:

"I am encouraged to learn that there has been ongoing consultation with the rural community and that all premises within 1 Kilometre each side of the proposed route have been contacted. I emphasised to NIE the importance of continuing to liaise with rural dwellers to ensure all the options are explored and the impact on individuals and the environment is minimised." ENDS

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