Shannon Development welcomes planning approval for LNG terminal


Shannon Development has welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for the development of a €500 million Liquefied Natural Gas terminal by Shannon LNG on Shannon Development-owned land between Tarbert and Ballylongford in Co. Kerry.

John Brassil, Chairman, Shannon Development said - “Today’s announcement is a major milestone in the development of a strategic project aimed at addressing Ireland’s future energy needs and will, I am convinced, make an important contribution to our international competitiveness in the future."

Shannon LNG proposes to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal on a 104-hectare (257-acre) site located on the Shannon Estuary between Tarbert and Ballylongford in Co. Kerry. The site, which is zoned industrial by Kerry County Council, is owned by Shannon Development and Shannon LNG has an option to purchase the site subject to obtaining planning approval.

Shannon Development has reserved the site as a national strategic location for large-scale maritime-related industry - such as an LNG regasification terminal - primarily because of its access to relatively sheltered deep water in the Shannon Estuary.

The plant - as big as five Croke Park pitches - will be capable of supplying 60pc of our gas needs for the foreseeable future. Five giant storage tanks - each as high as Liberty Hall and covering an area the size of a full-size football pitch - will contain millions of tones of liquid natural gas (LNG).

The plant's developers say that the massive storage tanks will also contain strategic gas reserves which can be used in the event of a worldwide energy crisis.

However, even though the project has been approved by An Bord Pleanála with 40 separate conditions, the developers must now get planning permission to build a gas pipeline running 25km from the plant to the national grid. They must also secure a pollution licence from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Shannon LNG is a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of Hess LNG Limited, which is a joint venture of Hess Corporation and Poten & Partners - both US companies - which are highly experienced in the international oil and gas business. Shannon LNG has assembled a highly-experienced project development team for the terminal and these personnel are based in Shannon LNG's offices in Dublin and Listowel and Hess LNG's offices in the United States.

LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to approximately minus 160°Celsius to convert it into a liquid state. The volume, as a liquid, is approximately 600-times less than the volume as a gas, which makes it feasible for transportation in ships around the world.

The LNG is stored and transported in insulated tanks - it is the very low temperature which maintains the LNG in a liquid state - it is not pressurised when it is in the ships or stored in the tanks at the terminal.

Construction of the plant is due to begin in 2009, with the terminal operational by 2012 at the earliest.