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.
LNG and Ireland
Currently, there are three LNG projects planned for the Republic of Ireland; one in Shannon and two in Cork.
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 and finally, Predator LNG Project planned for Inch in Co Cork.
Shannon LNG Project, Ballylongford Co Kerry
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, Port of Cork
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).
Predator LNG Project, Inch, Co. Cork
Predator Oil and Gas Holdings Plc has stated its intention to develop a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) terminal in Inch, Co. Cork, to import LNG from conventional, non-fracked sources. This project is similar to the type planned for the Port of Cork. A new company has been established Predator LNG Ireland to advance the FSRU project.
The company has already met with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities in relation to this project.
According to Predator LNG Ireland, the project installation and commissioning of the FSRU could be done within 18 months and can receive its first deliveries of LNG in late 2023. The company has bragged that its “frontrunner to be a new entrant to Irish gas market”. The project can use existing infrastructure from the Kinsale Gas Field.