Gas begins flowing through €100m pipeline linking Ireland and Scotland

Gas Networks Ireland boss describes new pipe as a ‘critical piece of infrastructure’ that ends dependence on a single pipe

Natural gas supplies around one third of Ireland’s energy needs, and is burned to generate around 50%  of the electricity used here

Natural gas supplies around one third of Ireland’s energy needs, and is burned to generate around 50% of the electricity used here

 

Natural gas began flowing this week through a new €100 million pipeline linking Ireland and Scotland.

State company Gas Networks Ireland has just completed and commissioned a second interconnector between Cluden and Brighouse Bay in Scotland.

Gas began flowing through the new pipe this week, completing the twinning of two interconnectors between this country and Scotland, and connecting Ireland to the UK, and ultimately the European, market.

The onshore lines feed two pipes running under the Irish Sea that have been in place since 1993 and 2004.

Gas Networks Ireland has not commented on the full cost of the project, but the figure is estimated to be around €100 million.

The EU contributed €33.7 million to the overall cost as Brussels deemed the pipe to be a “project of common interest”, that is a development aimed at completing an integrated European energy market.

A second pipeline boosts security of supply by ensuring that there is one functioning interconnector if there is ever a fault with the other and increases the Irish network’s flexibility.

Interruptions

Speaking at its launch, Denis O’Sullivan, managing director of Gas Networks Ireland, described it as a “critical piece of infrastructure” that tackled the risk of energy supply interruptions by ending dependence on a single pipe.

Natural gas supplies around one third of Ireland’s energy needs, and is burned to generate around 50 per cent of the electricity used here.

It supplied 90 per cent of electricity in summer 2018 when the weather cut the contribution from wind and hydro generation to almost zero.

Ireland imports a little less than half the natural gas that it uses. The balance comes from the Corrib field off Mayo, with a small contribution from the Kinsale field off the south coast.