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Natural Gas within touching distance for Nenagh

December 201205th

Local News

Natural Gas within touching distance for Nenagh

Alan Kelly, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, has announced that the prospect of Nenagh becoming connected to the Natural Gas Network is within touching distance.

In a statement released to the media today Alan Kelly, TD, said: “I have been working on bringing gas to Nenagh since I first became a minister in this government in March last year. It was my number one project for the town as I know how important it is for its future. Gas provision would create a huge competitive advantage for Nenagh. Energy consumption and the cost of oil and other energy sources are now one of the largest, if not the largest cost concerns for businesses and employers in Nenagh. Oil has become hugely expensive and its price is constantly fluctuating. Getting gas into Nenagh will protect jobs, create many more and bring inward investment. It is estimated that natural gas will save Nenagh business and public buildings/schools in the range of €20 to €30 million in energy costs in the first five years”. 

“Nenagh is a great town. It has a well-educated, ready-made work force. It is centrally-located, near Limerick and Shannon and located just off the M7 motorway. It is a great place to live with its proximity to the lake and all its related activities. The one major piece of infrastructure that it was missing was a cheaper and more consistent source of energy. In Ireland that is natural gas. Towns that have natural gas have a competitive advantage for their business and can attract inward investment. Clonmel is a prime example of this. It has grown enormously with the provision of gas with huge inward investment in the pharmaceutical industry in particular. Gas will be important not just for businesses in Nenagh, but also for domestic consumers who will have a chance to connect following on from the major businesses and save significantly on energy bills,” Alan Kelly added.

Alan Kelly explained that following a number of meetings with Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte and his officials that the Minister of State then convened a number of meetings with Arrabawn Co-op and its chief executive Conor Ryan who have a key requirement for gas in order to grow and expand their operation in Nenagh. Subsequently Alan Kelly met with Gaslink (an independent subsidiary of Bord Gais responsible for selecting and connecting new towns to the Gas network). 

Mr Kelly also discussed the matter with North Tipperary County Council manager Joe McGrath who has been centrally involved in the process along with Nenagh Town Manager Marcus O’Connor and their staff.

Last year Minister of State Alan Kelly established a Gas Committee to drive the project forward - the committee is made up of representatives from all the major industries in the town. The committee has met on a number of occasions and had a meeting with the Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte in July in an effort to impress upon him the need to get gas to Nenagh. Minister of State Alan Kelly also highlighted the contribution of Labour Councillors Virginia O’Dowd and Mayor Lalor McGee to the process.

“The discussions with Gaslink with regards to the project primarily relate to its financial viability. I am confident that the project is now viable and that the CER will see it as such. I expect the project to be submitted to the CER by Christmas week,” TD Alan Kelly said. 

“The plan for the pipeline involves an upgrade of the current east Limerick pipeline that runs to Birdhill and serves Ballina and Killaloe. The pipeline will then be extended to Nenagh with the proposal to run it along the old N7 route. The pipeline will be comprehensive covering every artery in and out of the town and every street in the town. Nenagh will be the first town in North Tipperary to get gas if it’s successful. It will by doing so increase the potential and future viability of getting gas to other North Tipperary towns such as Roscrea and Thurles,” Alan Kelly added. 

“I am now asking the people of Nenagh and surrounds to support this project as it will be the largest infrastructural development and investment in the town for many, many decades. A number of current and former public representatives who represented the North Tipperary tried to get gas to Nenagh before. It never happened. It’s now imminent. I’m asking the people of the town and surrounds for their support now,” Mr Kelly concluded. 

The members of the Nenagh Gas Committee are: Minister of State Alan Kelly TD, Joe McGrath (County Manager North Tipperary County Council), Marcus O’Connor (Director of Services North Tipperary County Council), Conor Ryan (Arrabawn Co-Op), Don O’Brien (ABP Ireland), Donncha Haverty (HKPB Scientific), John Conroy (Proctor & Gamble), Matt Muller (Abbey Court Hotel) and Clodagh Kavanagh (Abbey Machinery).

Photo caption - the Nenagh Gas Committee pictured with Minister for Energy, Communications and Natural Resources in July - back row left: Donncha Haverty (HKPB Scientific), Marcus O’Connor (Nenagh Town Manager), John Conroy (Proctor & Gamble), Matt Muller (Abbey Court Hotel) and Conor Ryan (Arrabawn Co-op). Front from left: Don O’Brien (ABP Ireland), Pat Rabbitte (TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources), Alan Kelly (TD, Minister of State for Public Transport) and Clodagh Kavanagh (Abbey Machinery). 

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