Dáil Éireann - Volume 407 - 30 April, 1991

Written Answers. - Gas Pipeline Extension.

115. Tómas Mac Giolla asked the Minister for Energy whether, in relation to the extension of the natural gas pipeline to the north-eastern counties of the country, he will outline (a) when the project was approved by his Department and when it is expected to be completed, (b) the amount which the project will cost, (c) the geographical area it will serve on completion and (d) whether the gas will be for the use of both commercial and [1438] domestic consumers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Energy (Mr. Molloy): A proposal to extend the gas grid westward from the Dublin/Dundalk pipeline is at present under consideration. Neither myself nor the Minister for Finance has yet given formal approval to the project which would be built this year and completed early in 1992.

The project, which is estimated to cost about £10 million, will be eligible for funding from the European Commission's Special Border Areas Programme. A formal response is expected shortly from the Commission to an application for funding under the programme.

The proposal would involve building a pipeline from Skibbolmore in County Louth, to Mullagh in County Cavan, with spur lines to Bailieborough and Virginia. It is based on a limited number of specific industrial and commercial customers with whom Bord Gáis Éireann have held discussions, and who have agreed to take gas, when the pipeline is built. The possibility of supplying domestic users will be considered if and when viable markets can be identified in the areas concerned.

117. Miss Flaherty asked the Minister for Energy if he will outline (a) the number of disputes in the ESB involving power cuts since it's foundation, (b) the length of such disputes and (c) when they occurred.