LNG and the Fracking Cycle

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What is LNG?

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is fossil gas that has been cooled down to liquid form for storage or transport. Fossil gas is mainly converted to LNG for transport over the seas.

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LNG and Ireland

Currently, there are two LNG projects planned for the Republic of Ireland. The Shannon LNG terminal is planned for Shannon Estuary near Ballylongford and Tarbert in North Co Kerry. While in Cork, The Port of Cork Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NextDecade Corporation to develop an LNG import terminal in Cork Harbour.

Shannon LNG Project

The Shannon LNG project has been in development since planning permission was granted in 2008. In 2018, An Bord Pleanala extended planning permission to a company called New Fortress Energy to build an LNG terminal on the Shannon Estuary in Ballylongford, Co. Kerry. The Shannon estuary is a Special Protection Area for waterbirds, whales, dolphins and porpoises. In other countries, numerous leaks and accidents have proved the destructive impact of fracking and LNG on the environment, climate and public health. The terminal would import fracked gas from the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania, US, and Not Here Not Anywhere is working with communities here affected by fracking. As of early 2020, three legal cases have been taken in relation to Shannon LNG by Friends of the Irish Environment and one of these is preventing any work beginning on the project.

For more detail on Shannon LNG, visit www. stopshannonlng.ie

Cork LNG project

In 2017, Port of Cork signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with NextDecade, an LNG development company in Texas, United States. The MOU allows Port of Cork to negotiate with NextDecade on the development of a new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) and associated LNG import terminal infrastructure in Cork Harbour.

The campaign against Cork LNG has been active since 2019, and actions to date have involved Not Here Not Anywhere, Cork Green Party and Extinction Rebellion Cork. There is an ongoing petition against Cork LNG which 3,500 people have signed (Uplift.ie, 2019a) and in December 2019 an open letter signed by 50 international civil society organisations was delivered to Port of Cork (Not Here Not Anywhere, 2019). In November 2019 resolutions against Cork LNG were passed almost unanimously by Cork County Council (Ryan, 2019) and Cork City Council (English, 2019).

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