Gas Networks Ireland has announced the completion of the twinning and commissioning of the Ireland to Scotland gas interconnector.
The new 50km gas pipeline between Cluden and Brighouse Bay in Scotland will reinforce security of supply across the island of Ireland and its commissioning completes the full twinning of the two gas interconnectors between Ireland and the UK. Twinning of the on-shore section, which feeds the two subsea pipelines in place since 1993 and 2004 respectively, secures this link to the UK gas market.
The pipeline will also boost the operational flexibility of the Irish gas network which is essential to providing backup to intermittent renewable electricity generation. Natural gas, as the cleanest and most flexible fossil fuel for power generation, is an ideal partner to renewables as Ireland seeks to meet its energy and climate change targets.
The project was made possible through EU funding, as the project was identified as a Project of Common Interest within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy programme and received grant funding of €33.7m Projects of common interest (PCIs) are key infrastructure projects aimed at completing the European energy market in order to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens, as well as the long-term decarbonisation of the economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
The new pipeline was unveiled at a ceremony held by GNI (UK) and attended by representatives from the European Commission's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), the UK's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, The Irish Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment, the GNI (UK) Board of Directors, Dumfries and Galloway Council, members of the Project Team across GNI and Ervia Major Projects.
Speaking at the launch, Denis O'Sullivan, managing director of Gas Networks Ireland, said "This PCI project has delivered a critical piece of infrastructure which addresses the risk of interruptions to energy supplies into Ireland by removing a dependency on a single pipeline, now resulting in a complete twinned system between Ireland and the United Kingdom. The Project has only been made possible by EU funding through the Connecting Europe Facility and I would like to thank both the Irish and UK Governments and the EU for their support on this strategic piece of critical infrastructure. I would also like to pay tribute to our teams in Gas Networks Ireland and Ervia Major Projects for delivering this project."