5th June, 2018: Natural gas is officially powering, for the first time, the Kerry Ingredients plant at Listowel, the Gas to Listowel project’s ‘anchor load’ tenant which has made the extension of the natural gas pipeline to Listowel possible. The €20m extension of the Natural Gas network has already been connected to the Kerry plant, which has now started to operate with the new energy source. Work continues to connect Listowel town.
The Gas to Listowel project comprises laying 41kms of polyethylene gas pipeline from the transmission station near Foynes to the Kerry Ingredients plant in Listowel. The first phase of the project, connecting to Kerry ingredients, commenced in 2017.
At the peak of the works there were over 100 personnel on-site at up to eight different locations along the route, drawing out thousands of tonnes of stone and soil and welding, laying miles of pipe, backfilling trenches, and drilling under rivers, culverts, underground cattle crossing and underground ESB power lines along the route. The works continued through Ballyhahill, Moyvane and Listowel where a dedicated distribution gas network is being installed.
Work is continuing in Listowel Town, where a total 9km of network is being installed. In agreement with the local community, Gas Networks Ireland has suspended operations for the duration of Writers’ Week in recognition of the significance of this hugely important event to the economic and cultural life of the town. It is estimated that work on the town network will be completed by the end of July 2018.
Gas Networks Ireland will only extend the natural gas network to towns which are not yet connected to the network if a viable business case can be made for the project. This business case considers the capital cost of the project against the estimated revenues from potential industrial, commercial and new housing customers in the town over 25 years. The largest potential users are referred to as ‘anchor loads’ as they generate the majority of the potential revenues needed to facilitate a project getting the green light.
The importance of Kerry Ingredients’ commitment to the project was explained by Ian O’Flynn, Head of Commercial, Gas Networks Ireland:
"Gas Networks Ireland is deeply grateful to Kerry Ingredients for being the anchor for the extension of the Natural Gas network to Listowel, quite simply without Kerry Ingredients we would not be here today. We are also enormously grateful to the local communities and businesses of Listowel and North Kerry for their patience during our construction works. The delivery of Natural Gas to Listowel brings with it massive opportunity for local businesses and communities to benefit from safe, efficient and cost effective heat and energy. We have also opened up the potential for customers to access Renewable Gas, which will be coming on stream and will be an increasingly important element of Ireland’s energy supply for the future."
Jim Lee of Kerry Group explained the rationale for their involvement:
"In line with Kerry’s commitment to supporting dairy farming and milk processing in the Southwest of Ireland and maximising the sustainability of our operations, switching to Natural Gas allows us to substantially reduce emissions and waste from our Listowel manufacturing site. The availability of natural gas has also enabled us to undertake a significant investment in Combined Heat and Power (CHP), which will be commissioned in early 2019, and will further reduce our energy use and emissions. We are delighted that a further benefit of GNI’s decision to bring gas to Listowel is that the local community can enjoy the benefits of this €20m investment in a modern gas network."
Companies or home owners looking for information on how to connect to the natural gas network may do so by calling the Gas Networks Ireland Customer Care line 1850 200 694 or via our website on www.gasnetworks.ie
Gas Networks Ireland
T: (086) 834 2277
Photos are available to accompany this release.
Gas Networks Ireland is the business division of Ervia that owns, builds and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all customers to the gas network. Gas Networks Ireland operates one of the most modern and safe gas networks in the world and ensures that almost 688,000 homes and businesses receive a safe, efficient and secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ervia is a commercial semi-state multi-utility company with responsibility for the delivery of gas and water infrastructure and services in Ireland.