Texan gas company NextDecade signs deal with Port of Cork

Import terminal could ‘substantially increase’ Ireland’s natural gas supply

The agreement between the Port of Cork and NextDecade works well for the Texan company as  the port is  capable of handling large liquid gas  ships. Photograph: iStock

The agreement between the Port of Cork and NextDecade works well for the Texan company as the port is capable of handling large liquid gas ships. Photograph: iStock

 

Texas-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) company NextDecade is eyeing up a LNG import terminal at the Port of Cork.

The company announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Cork to “advance a joint development opportunity in Ireland for a new floating storage and regasification unit and associated LNG-import terminal infrastructure”.

Under the terms of the memorandum the potential development at the Port of Cork would receive LNG from the Texan company’s planned Rio Grande LNG project in south Texas. The Rio Grande valley is one of a number of areas where preliminary work on US president Donald Trump’s border wall is taking place.

“The development would provide competitively-priced energy solutions to Ireland and its regional partners under long-term contracts,” the company said in a statement. “If constructed, the project would substantially increase and diversify Ireland’s supply of natural gas.”

Ireland’s gas supply has come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, with commentators referring to the geographical disadvantages of the country.

The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies reported in March of this year that Ireland could be placed in a difficult situation if the UK no longer has to abide by the EU security of supply regulation when it leaves the EU.

Disruptions

The security of supply regulation was introduced to help prevent potential gas supply disruptions, and respond to them if they happen.

The agreement between the Port of Cork and NextDecade works well for the Texan company on the basis that the port is a natural deepwater harbour capable of handling large liquids and cargo ships.

While the company is in discussions with European energy companies to enter into long-term purchase contracts for delivery of LNG at Cork’s port, NextDecade plans to import primarily from its hubs in Texas.