Dáil Éireann - Volume 482 - 12 November, 1997
Written Answers. - Dublin-Galway Gas Trunkline.
Mr. Penrose Mr. Penrose
36. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if she has submitted the formal information requested by the European Commission from her Department to allow the European Commission's Competition Directorate to make a decision on the State aid aspect of the proposals for funding a natural gas trunkline from Dublin to Galway and south to Limerick; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18971/97]
Mr. Yates Mr. Yates
100. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the decisions, if any, taken by the Government in relation to the extension of the national gas network; and the proposals, if any, she will bring to Cabinet in this regard, as promised in An Action Programme for the Millennium. [18545/97]
Minister of State at the Department of Public Enterprise (Mr. Jacob) Joe Jacob
Minister of State at the Department of Public Enterprise (Mr. Jacob): I propose to take Questions Nos. 36 and 100 together.
One of the key priorities for the energy sector in the Programme for Government An Action Plan for the Millennium is to extend natural gas as far as practicable to major towns and cities. I am fully committed to this policy objective.
Apart from the decision referred to in the reply to Questions Nos. 23, 47 and 63 on 1 October 1997, no decisions have been taken by the Government in relation to the extension of the natural gas network. That reply set out BGE's plans for extension of the natural gas network.
In relation to the proposal for a major extension of the network to the midlands and west to provide gas to Trim, Mullingar, Athlone, Ballinasloe, Galway, Ennis and Shannon, with the support  of Exchequer funding, the formal notification under Article 93.3 of the EU Treaties was submitted to the EU's Competition Directorate in September 1997 to allow the Commission to make a full assessment in respect of the State Aids aspect of the proposal. I am still awaiting the Commission's decision.
On receipt of the Commission's decision, I will consider the matter further.
Dáil Éireann 482 Written Answers. Dublin-Galway Gas Trunkline.