Rejection of LNG terminal 'will expose Ireland to power cuts'

An Bord Pleanála rejected an application by a US company to build an LNG terminal on the the Shannon Estuary
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.44 15 Sep 2023

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Rejection of LNG terminal 'wil...

Rejection of LNG terminal 'will expose Ireland to power cuts'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.44 15 Sep 2023

Share this article

A rejection by An Bord Pleanála of a liquified natural gas terminal in Co Kerry will 'expose Ireland to power cuts in the future'.

Irish Academy of Engineering Energy & Climate Action Committee Chair Don Moore said he believes Ireland is adopting high-risk strategy.

The planning body rejected an application by a US company to build an LNG terminal on the Shannon Estuary.


The planning authority said it would be "inappropriate" to allow the development pending the review of energy supply.

An LNG terminal is a facility that is used to store natural gas in a liquified state, and when it is needed it is pumped back into the grid as gas.

Mr Moore told The Hard Shoulder he questions An Bord Pleanála's decision.

"An Bord Pleanála rejected it, but the grounds that they rejected it on did not seem to be planning," he said.

"They said they were rejecting it because it was Government policy to reject it.

"So, that means the Government have taken a policy decision that we should not have LNG in Ireland, at least our own LNG."

'High-risk strategy'

Mr Moore said Ireland is in a vulnerable position.

"It's a high-risk strategy because we're at the very end of the European gas grid here in Ireland," he said.

"We're dependent on connection to the European gas grid, we're connected by a pipeline from Scotland.

"For the foreseeable future, probably until 2040, we are going to be dependent upon gas-fired power generation to back up our energy supply.

"In other words, no matter how much more renewable energy we build, when the wind doesn't blow we will be dependent on gas-fired power stations to provide electricity."

'The most exposed position'

Mr Moore said he can't understand why Ireland is the exception.

"Why is Ireland an exception in this regard? Every other country in Europe with a coastline either has LNG import facilities or is building them," he said.

"Germany had none when they were importing all their gas from Russia, they now have three and very soon they will have another two more.

"So, why would Ireland, in the most exposed position, adopt this high-risk strategy?

"It does make no sense, and it will expose Ireland in the future to power cuts [and] power blackouts."

'Dependent on importing gas'

Mr Moore said there needs to be a back-up plan when there is insufficient wind.

"There will be times, sometimes in the middle of winter for up to 10 days, when there is no wind," he said.

"Then you are dependent upon gas-fire generation and we have to have gas.

"Our last gas field at Corrib will be finished in two years' time, and the Government have refused to licence anymore exploration for natural gas off our coast.

"So we're going to be dependent on importing gas from Britain and... 20% of the gas is actually fracked LNG coming from the US to Ireland," he added.

Listen back here:

Main image: Split-screen shows Don Moore in 2014, and an LNG liquid natural gas terminal in the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 2013. Image: Sam Boal/ Smak/Alamy Stock Photo

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An Bord Pleanala Co Kerry Don Moore Irish Academy Of Engineering LNG Terminal Liquified Natural Gas Terminal Renewable Energy Shannon Estuary The Hard Shoulder

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