Utility Regulator welcomes planning approval for natural gas storage facility

The Utility Regulator today welcomes the announcement by Environment Minister Alex Attwood that planning approval has been given to a natural gas storage facility in Larne Lough.

Coinciding with the planning announcement, the Utility Regulator has granted a licence for the storage of natural gas to Islandmagee Storage Ltd. This follows a public consultation process in September on the proposed granting of the licence.

Shane Lynch, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator said:

“The interest shown by Islandmagee Storage Ltd, in developing a gas storage facility, is a vote of confidence in the natural gas industry in Northern Ireland. This facility in Larne will bring a number of potential benefits to Northern Ireland. Not only will the proposed facility provide greater security of supply for Northern Ireland, it would also provide another tool for suppliers in managing energy costs. In addition, the ability to bring gas quickly onto the system from storage can also complement wind-powered generation at times when wind levels are low.”

In accordance with Article 8 (6) of the Gas (NI) Order 1996, the Utility Regulator gives notice that a licence for the storage of gas in Northern Ireland was granted to Islandmagee Storage Ltd on the 17 October 2012. We received one response to the public consultation from Mutual Energy Ltd.