Dáil Éireann - Volume 674 - 10 February, 2009

Written Answers. - Energy Resources.

Deputy Noel J. Coonan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his timeframe for providing natural gas to Nenagh, County Tipperary; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4202/09]

  Deputy Eamon Ryan: The development and expansion of the natural gas network is in the first instance a commercial matter for Bord Gáis Éireann (BGÉ), which is mandated under Section 8 of the Gas Act 1976, as amended, to develop and maintain a system for the supply of natural gas that is both economical and efficient.

The Deputy will be aware that BGÉ has been examining many areas of the State not yet connected to the natural gas network to see if the network can be extended to new localities. Having agreed a new Connections Policy with the Commission for Energy Regulation, whereby towns can now be evaluated in clusters rather than individually, thus giving new towns a better chance of meeting the economic criteria, BGÉ completed the first and second phases of its New Towns Analysis. Several new towns along the Mayo-Galway Pipeline, two towns along the Galway-Limerick section of the Pipeline to the West, and other towns close to the Cork-Dublin Pipeline met the economic criteria and are now in the process of being connected.

Phase 3 of BGÉ’s New Towns Analysis is being completed at present. In this phase BGÉ is looking at several areas, including Nenagh, to see if the economic criteria that would allow connection can be met. I am awaiting completion of this analysis, which will be published by BGÉ on completion.