Thursday, 10 March 1983
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Conaghan: asked the Minister for Industry and Energy the steps he is taking to ensure that oil distributors from Northern Ireland are complying with the regulations whereby 35 per cent of their supply must come from the Whitegate refinery; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Boland: The statutory order mandating Whitegate off-take places an obligation to purchase oil products from Whitegate on all oil importers except in cases where individual obligation would be less than 20 tonnes in a quarter.
I have become aware that three companies are importing oil products across the Border with Northern Ireland and I have informed them of their obligations. I can assure the Deputy that I have every intention of enforcing these obligations.
Mr. Conaghan: Will the Minister take steps to ensure that there is fair competition in northern areas? All the suppliers in Donegal are at a disadvantage. Will he ensure that the law will apply equally to all distributors?
Mr. Boland: I assure the Deputy that steps have already been taken and are in train and that they will be followed by further steps as the need arises in an effort to see that there is no element of unfair trading in Border counties.
Mr. Flynn: What does the Minister mean by his reference to “steps”? He said in reply to the previous question that he was not in a position to say what steps would be taken. Precisely what steps will now be taken against what companies?
Mr. Boland: This relates to companies importing oil across the Border from Northern Ireland and the steps necessary to ensure that these companies are complying with the regulations in the same way as companies trading wholly within this State are expected to comply.
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