Molloy Meets NIE on Dale Farm Power Supply
Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MP, Francie Molloy and party colleague Ian Milne MLA, have met with senior managers of NIE to raise concerns about the companies approach to infrastructure and investment west of the Bann. The meeting took place following the revelation that NIE was unable to provide an adequate supply to support a proposed new investment into the Cookstown based Dale Farm site.
Mr Molloy said:
“Last week I met with Dale Farm and heard at first hand the plans for investment and development on this site.
“I was exasperated and shared the company’s frustration at the inability of NIE, the North’s main energy provider, to guarantee sufficient supply to the plant.
“Totally unacceptable was the suggestion by NIE that the company relocate to Ballymena where they would not encounter the shortage of supply problems.
“As MP for Mid Ulster I was stunned, but not surprised, by this attitude to investment West of the Bann. It has been a long held belief that the urgency required to ensure the infrastructure necessary for attracting investment West of the Bann did not exist. This was just another reminder that this belief is well grounded.
“In my meeting with the Asset Management Director and the Distribution Planning Manager of NIE I was quite clear that its approach was inadequate to meet the needs of the business and industrial sector in Mid Ulster and other areas West of the Bann.
“I am calling on NIE to adopt a more effective, strategic approach to long term planning, particularly in the Mid Ulster area. The NIE distribution map highlights a clear gap in Tyrone, South Derry and Fermanagh in terms of heavy grade network supply.
“I will also be writing to the Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster to ascertain what plans she has to rectify the lack of not just NIE but general infrastructure West of the Bann which is essential to attract inward investment.”
Mr Molloy concluded:“NIE, for its part, advised that they were entering a new round of infrastructure planning. I impressed on them that it is essential they consider what the needs are across the wider Mid Ulster area. I believe that a proactive consultation with industry as to their business development plans would be beneficial in informing what the potential future supply requirements will be.”