Licences Released to bring Gas to new areas in Northern Ireland

Published: 15 February 2005

Consultation opened on 15 February 2005. Consultation closed 15 March 2005.

Summary

The Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation (the Authority) announced the release at noon today of the following draft licences for public consultation.

The Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation (the Authority) announced the release at noon today of the following draft licences for public consultation.

a) A draft licence, to Bord Gais Eireann, for the conveyance of gas in areas along the route of the North West and South North gas transmission pipelines.

b)   A draft licence, to Bord Gais Eireann, for the supply of gas in the same areas.

*please note that these licences have been consolidated, with the standard licence conditions modified where appropriate by special conditions

Douglas McIldoon (Chairman of the Authority) said
“ These licences are critically important to the development of Northern Ireland’s natural gas industry. Initially BGE has agreed targets with us for the development of the industry in 10 major new towns outside the Greater Belfast area. BGE has also agreed that within 5 years it will bring forward plans for as many other new towns and areas in its licence area as can be made viable.
In the initial 10 towns BGE has agreed plans to make gas available to some 65,000 premises by 2018. This number of potential customers can of course be increased if enhanced funding or other interventions become available.”

The drafts are available on this website using the above links or paper copies are available from Sarah Brady, Ofreg, Brookmount Buildings, 42 Fountain Street, Belfast.BT1 5EE

Tel. 028 9031 1575, Fax 028 9031 1740.

Copies will be made available in large print, Braille, audio cassette and a variety of relevant minority languages if required.

Comments from interested parties should be forwarded to Sarah Brady at the above address by Tuesday 15th March 2005 or by email to
sarah.brady@ofregni.gov.uk

Notes for Editors

1.) Gas is currently available only in the Greater Belfast and Larne areas. Phoenix Natural Gas (PNG) is currently undertaking the development of the gas industry in these areas. For several years attempts were made by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) and the Office for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas (Ofreg) to attract gas companies to extend the gas industry outside Greater Belfast. Progress was made in 2001 when BGE put forward a proposal to construct two major gas transmission pipelines, one from Dublin to Antrim (South North pipeline) and the other from near Carrickfergus to Londonderry (the North West pipeline).

2.) The North West pipeline was completed in 2004 and serves Coolkeeragh Power Station; the South North pipeline is due to be completed in 2006 and for the first time will link the N.I. and RoI. gas transmission systems. Applications for licences were invited by OFREG for the development of gas networks along the routes of the South North and North West transmission pipelines. Two applications were received, one from BGE and the other from Phoenix Natural Gas. BGE were subsequently selected as the preferred bidder for the new licences, on which complex negotiations have recently been completed.

3.) The new areas to be included in BGE’s licences are located along the route of the North West and South North pipelines. Within the overall area BGE has agreed targets for development in 10 initial towns:

The towns of Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Londonderry (served by the North-West Pipeline), and Antrim, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon (including Portadown and Lurgan) and Newry (served by the South/North pipeline). Gas should begin to arrive in the North West towns later this year if the licence if successfully issued after consultation and in the South North towns in 2006. Within 5 years BGE will bring forward further plans for the development of as many other new towns and areas covered by the proposed licence as are viable.

4.) The drafts are available on this website or from Ofreg’s offices at Brookmount Buildings, 42 Fountain Street, Belfast, BT1 5EE.

5.).OFREG (the Office for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas) supports the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation (NIAER) the regulator of the Electrcity and Gas industries in Northern Ireland. NIAER’s powers are derived from the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, the Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 both as amended by the Energy (Northern Ireland) Order 2003.

For further information contact Terry McErlane at Weber Shandwick Telephone 028 90761007 or 07770886911

Documents: