Tuesday, 10 April 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
93. Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the amount the extension to the natural gas pipeline to the north-west will cost further to the recent Government announcement of an extension; when it is proposed to start the work; the time frame for completion of the project; and the route the proposed pipeline will take. [10422/01]
Minister of State at the Department of Public Enterprise (Mr. Jacob): As part of its ongoing work, Bord Gáis Éireann is currently examining a range of options for extending the natural gas network, including to the North West. It has engaged consultants to assist it in this regard. I expect that this analysis will be finalised shortly and will be the first step in clarifying the options for the extension to the north west.
The Government recognises that the extension of the gas network to the north west will most likely require external funding, the level of which would depend on the route of such extension. The application of such funding to the project will most likely have to be through an open transparent process and the project will be subject to the usual regulatory requirements and any EU clearance that may be necessary.
Major gas pipeline projects such as this usually take about three years from conception through to completion. I intend that the necessary arrangements for the extension of the gas network to the North West will be put in place as quickly as possible after the routes have been decided upon and that the project will be completed in the shortest possible timeframe.
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