Shannon LNG Terminal may retain EU backing despite Brexit - Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed clarification from the European Commission that the Shannon LNG terminal and its connecting pipeline will not have its status as a ‘Project of Common Interest’ affected by Britain’s departure from the EU.
Liadh Ní Riada said:
“The Shannon LNG Terminal has been identified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Union on two consecutive listings of strategic energy projects that can access EU funding.
“PCI status is awarded to projects that contribute to security of supply, sustainability and greater infrastructural connection across two or more EU member-states. In this case Shannon is important to both Ireland and Britain.
“Natural gas currently provides about 30% of Ireland's energy needs and accounts for 60% in its electricity generation mix.
“In addition, Ireland has limited interconnections and is highly dependent on Britain’s gas transport system. The Shannon LNG project could provide Ireland with a second major gas supply import route. This could help address the supply-demand imbalance in the country, avoid the costs of moving gas from within the British system and give rise to increased competition in the local gas market.
“Gas from Shannon LNG could also reach the north via the South-North Pipeline and be exported to the British market via Moffat.
“Britain’s departure from the EU put continued European support for the Shannon project in doubt. I raised Shannon LNG with the Commission and asked that it recognise the special status of Ireland as a unitary energy market that is subject to geographic limitations on connectivity, and as a country that is at risk of severe disadvantages in terms of connectivity, transport and trade as a result of Brexit.
“I welcome the response from the Commission, which states that Shannon LNG will not be disbarred from EU support under the current round of PCI awards, despite the triggering of Article 50 by the British Government and the ongoing Brexit negotiations.
“Shannon LNG is hugely important to the North Kerry and West Limerick region and this decision may help create jobs in the area and further stimulate the local economy.”