MEP Sean Kelly said the deal makes the building of Shannon LNG terminal at Ballylongford “now much more likely”
THE new deal between US president Donald Trump and EU Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker could spell good news for the Shannon estuary.
The deal, announced on Wednesday, is aimed at averting a trade war and includes a commitment by the EU to import more liquid natural gas from the US.
While details of the deal remain scant, President Trump claimed that LNG would be “big”.
This makes the building of Shannon LNG terminal at Ballylongford “now much more likely”, MEP Sean Kelly said this Thursday.
Mr Kelly believes the new deal will lead to more LNG plants being built in Europe and he is optimistic this will include the Shannon LNG plant at Ballylongford/Tarbert.
“There are projects planned already which are known as PCIs, projects of common interest, which would include LNG terminals. That means if we are going to take in more LNG from the US, then we must complete PCIs and one of those is Shannon LNG.”
Mr. Kelly recently secured the designation of Ballylongford deepwater site as a Project of Common Interest. That means the European Commission will back its construction with grants and financing.
This new development between Jean Claude Juncker and Donald Trump would make Shannon LNG a more attractive proposition for investors also, Mr Kelly said.
“I would be quite optimistic,” he added. “It is part of the European strategy to ensure we have energy security and on that Ireland is one of the most vulnerable. We have only one pipeline coming into us from Scotland and once the Corrib field runs dry in about 15 years, we would be very vulnerable.”
The Shannon LNG plant would also provide an additional safeguard for Ireland in the event of a hard Brexit or if Britain decided to keep all its gas for its own needs, Mr Kelly said.
Currently, he added, the company is in discussion with Shannon Properties to renew its lease on the site at Ballylongford.