Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if there are proposals to extend the Natural Gas pipeline to Dungarvan, County Waterford; if not, why not; and the towns next in line for connection.
REPLY | Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Denis Naughten):
The development and expansion of the natural gas network is in the first instance a commercial and operational matter for Gas Networks Ireland (GNI), which is mandated under Section 8 of the Gas Act 1976, as amended, to develop and maintain a national system for the supply of natural gas that is both economical and efficient.
Gas Networks Ireland's published Connections Policy, most recently revised in 2015, set out its policy on the connection of all loads to the transmission and distribution gas networks.
The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is statutorily responsible for all aspects of the assessment and licensing of prospective operators who wish to develop and/or operate a gas distribution system within the State under the Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act 2002. It also approves the GNI Connections Policy.
I have no statutory function in relation to either the routing of pipelines or the connection of towns to the gas pipeline network.