Glin councillor John Sheahan
GLIN could benefit from piped natural gas at some time in the future, but this would depend on local demand and whether it was commercially viable.
A spokeswoman for Gas Networks Ireland confirmed this week that there will be an “of take leg at the closest point to Glin” along the new pipeline from Foynes to Listowel which will be built later this year.
“This leg will be used to connect Glin to the network should it become commercially viable in the future,” she said.
Initially, Gas Network Ireland’s plan to build a 40km feeder gas pipeline connecting from Foynes to Listowel did not include connections to any West Limerick towns and villages along the route.
The only exception was that of Foynes where, a company spokeswoman said, they were “continuing to liaise with potential customers”.
“In simple terms, the expected revenues over a period of time must exceed the projected costs for the project to be viable,” she added.
The key factor in the company’s decision to link Listowel to the national gas grid was the coming on board of Kerry Ingredients and its plan to invest in a combined heat and power plant.
However, at a meeting of Newcastle West Municipal District in December, Glin councillor John Sheahan pointed out that the pipeline route would be passing near Glin. And he called on Gas Networks Ireland to take into account Glin’s future needs and those of Tarbert when finalising the troute. In particular, he argued the potential future demand at the industrial land-bank at Tarbert/Ballylongford needed to be factored in, along with the possibility of replacing oil with gas at the power station in Tarbert.
The existing manufacturing businesses in Glin as well as householders could also be possible customers and he felt that other towns and villages along the route should have “spurs” off the line. , he pointed out in a motion to the recent meeting of Newcastle West Municipal District. And he called on the director of economic development with Limerick City and County Council Pat Daly, to contact Gas Networks Ireland to ensure that future demand was not being overlooked.
Now, it appears Glin is indeed to have an “offtake leg”. However, the route of the pipelilne has not been fully finalised and is still the subject of land investigation, the spokeswoman for Irish Gas Networks said.
Once fully defined, it will be made public in Listowel and in the communities and hinterland of the pipeline. Construction is expected to begin in May or June.