Government stalls liquid natural gas developments

Minister calls moratorium pending energy review

Natural gas is used to generate around 60 per cent of the electricity used in the Republic every year.

Natural gas is used to generate around 60 per cent of the electricity used in the Republic every year.

 

Plans for liquified natural gas terminals (LNG) in the Republic face further delays after Government said it would halt such developments pending an energy security review.

Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, said on Tuesday that the Government was declaring a moratorium on LNG developments pending the completion of an energy security review.

Organisations including State company, Gas Networks Ireland, responsible for the system used to transport the fuel around the country, say the Republic will need at least one LNG terminal to meet future needs and guarrantee energy security.

Electricity

Natural gas is used to generate around 60 per cent of the electricity used in the Republic every year.

The State will continue to need supplies of the fuel after it has reached its target of generating 70 per cent of electricity from renewable sources in 2030.

The LNG moratorium announced by Mr Ryan follows advice from the Attorney General that EU law prevents the Republic from banning imports of gas produced by a controversial technology called fracking, which uses water and chemicals to fracture rock to release the fuel.

Much of the LNG exported by the US is produced this way. Opponents of terminal developments claim that they would allow the Republic to import fracked gas.

Under its programme for Government agreed last year, the Coalition does not support fracked gas imports.

Mr Ryan claimed that fracked gas causes environmental damage globally and where it is extracted.

“Ireland, having banned its exploitation onshore, should not impose these environmental risks on other communities around the globe,” the Minister added.

*This article was edited on May 26th, 2021