Dáil Éireann - Volume 392 - 07 November, 1989
Written Answers. - Natural Gas Supplies.
Mr. J. Bruton Mr. J. Bruton
41. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Energy if he will consider the possibility of extending natural gas supplies to Ashbourne, County Meath; whether the decision by the previous Minister to choose an easterly route for the pipeline to Dundalk, in place of the originally planned westerly route, has in any way adversely affected the economics of the provision of natural gas to Ashbourne; the reasons for this decision; and when it was taken.
Minister for Energy (Mr. Molloy) Robert Molloy
Minister for Energy (Mr. Molloy): BGE will give consideration to the extension of supplies to areas removed from the main gas pipeline and without existing gas grids, in the longer term, but it would be unrealistic to assume the likelihood of supply in the short to medium term in such cases. If the route of the Dundalk gas pipeline had been closer to Ashbourne, the question of its commercial  viability, as a centre without an existing gas grid, would still arise.
The routing of the Dundalk transmission line was determined by Bord Gáis Éireann having regard to the commercial viability of all the centres en route. That decision was based, in part, on the optimum location for any future connection with the UK gas grid. I have no function in route selection other than to approve pipeline projects under section 8 of the Gas Act, 1976, and to make such compulsory acquisition orders as may be necessary.
On an ongoing basis, Bord Gáis Éireann review the possibility of extending the gas supply to all areas adjacent to pipelines. Where commercially viable loads can be established, the supply is extended. To date, commercially viable loads have not been identified in the Ashbourne area.
Dáil Éireann 392 Written Answers. Natural Gas Supplies.