Clare Sinn Fein TD Accuses Greens Of ‘Backpeddling’ On Carbon Commitments

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Clare’s Sinn Fein TD is accusing the Green Party of ‘backpedalling’ on their carbon commitments outlined in the Programme for Government.

It comes as American company New Fortress Energy is due to lodge a planning application for the first phase of development at its Shannon Technology & Energy Park in the Shannon Estuary later this week.

The company says the proposed development will provide major energy infrastructure, with the creation up to 70 long term jobs and 270 construction jobs, while it says a follow-on development for a major Data Centre Campus would create up to 400 additional long-term jobs.


However, Climate groups here have raised concern that the project would facilitate the use of fracked gas to power homes.

The Department of Climate Action says it’s closely monitoring developments on the project and will make a submission on the works once an application is submitted.

Kilrush-based Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne believes Ministerial intervention was needed to halt Shannon LNG’s progress.

Statement from New Fortress Energy

Shannon LNG Ltd., a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: NFE), the New York based global energy infrastructure company, has erected a site notice at its 600-acre landbank located between Ballylongford and Tarbert in Co Kerry and intends to lodge a planning application within the relevant statutory period with An Bord Pleanála for the first phase of development at its Shannon Technology & Energy Park (STEP).

The developers had been in pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála (ABP) since 2019 in relation to the project and in June 2021 ABP determined that the proposed development was within the scope of the Planning & Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006. Consequently, the planning application for the proposed development will be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.

The proposed development comprises a 600MW Power Plant and a Terminal. The 600MW Combined Cycle Gas Power Plant will back-up renewable generation and will have an integrated 120 MW One-Hour Battery Storage Facility for Ultra-Fast Response.

The Terminal will import LNG, which is natural gas that has been cooled to approximately -160 °C to reduce its volume and facilitate shipping. A Floating Storage & Regasification Unit (FSRU) will be moored at a jetty to receive and store the LNG. The Terminal will regasify the LNG and send the gas to the Power Plant and to the national gas grid.

Speaking about the proposed development Sam Abdalla, Vice President of Project Development, New Fortress Energy said:

“The proposed development will provide a major energy infrastructure asset that addresses Ireland’s shortfall in stable electricity generation and provide security of gas supply. By so doing it will support Ireland’s transition to 70% renewable electricity generation by 2030. The Shannon Technology & Energy Park proposed development is privately funded and Government or EU funding is not being sought.”

“The Shannon Technology & Energy Park will be transformative for the region. This first phase of development will create 70 long-term direct jobs, once operational, with an average of 270 construction jobs over a 3-year construction period. The development would occupy 100 acres of the 600-acre site and the Site Masterplan anticipates a follow-on development for a major Data Centre Campus with up to 8 Data Halls which would create up to 400 additional long-term jobs.”

Statement from the Department of Climate Action

The status of any such planning application in the first instance is a matter for An Bord Pleanala. However, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) is closely monitoring developments in this area.

In the event of such a planning application being lodged, the Department will make a submission and will make its views known. Its views are set out in the Government’s Policy Statement in this area. This clearly states that, pending the outcome of a review of the security of energy supply (of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems), it would not be appropriate for the development of any LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminals to be permitted or proceeded with in Ireland.

This review is ongoing and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022. At that point, the results and recommendations will be submitted to Government.

Moreover, Section 34 of the Planning & Development Act requires An Bord Pleanala (or any planning authority) to consider the proper planning and sustainable development of an area, with regard being had to relevant Government policies.