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Bord Gáis Marks Completion of South-North Pipeline

MINISTERS ACKNOWLEDGE SOUTH NORTH CO-OPERATION IN MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECT

At an event today in Banbridge, Co Down, (1 November 2007), Bord Gáis marked the completion of the South-North Gas Pipeline and its use by homes and businesses in towns along its route. The event was attended by the Minister Eamon Ryan, and Minister Nigel Dodds.

Ed O’Connell, Chairman of Bord Gáis, said: “Northern Ireland is a very important part of the Bord Gáis business. Last year, a quarter of all the gas transported by Bord Gáis was transported on behalf of gas users in Northern Ireland. Our investment in gas infrastructure in Northern Ireland will be over £200 million pounds sterling by 2010, with another £50 million pounds earmarked for further investment in the ongoing roll-out of the gas distribution networks in the towns post 2010.”

The 156km South-North transmission gas pipeline was constructed during 2006. It runs from Gormanston in Co Meath to Ballyclare in Co Antrim, where it ties in with the Bord Gáis North-West pipeline from Belfast to Derry city, connecting the gas grids throughout the island. firmus energy, a subsidiary of Bord Gáis, won the licences to bring natural gas to towns along the routes of these pipelines. The overall cost of the two transmission pipelines, including spurs to serve nearby towns, was approximately stg£175m. The provision of a £38 million grant from the Northern Ireland Executive was essential to the viability of the two transmission pipelines, of which £8.5m (€12.7 million) was paid by the Irish Government upon completion of the project.

Today’s event was at Armaghdown Creameries in Banbridge, part of the Fane Valley group, one of the largest industrial gas loads to be supplied from the South-North pipeline. firmus energy connected its first natural gas customer in 2005 and now serves about 2,400 homes and businesses across the province.

“Essential to the development and delivery of these infrastructure projects has been the total co-operation among the major stakeholders in Northern Ireland and the shared vision of bringing gas across the province in a timely and cost effective manner,” concluded Bord Gáis Chairman, Ed O’Connell.

ENDS
1 November 2007


For further information, please contact:

Elaine Hattie
Bord Gáis
Tel: 021 4534089 / 087 6381593
Email: ehattie@bge.ie

Karen Ferris
Drury Communications
Tel: 01 2605000 / 086 3171248
Email: kferris@drurycom.com

Notes:

1. Towns and cities supplied from the South-North pipeline:
 Armagh
 Antrim
 Craigavon (including Lurgan and Portadown)
 Banbridge
 Newry

2. Towns and cities supplied from the North-West pipeline:
 Ballymena
 Ballymoney
 Coleraine
 Derry city
 Limavady

3. Bord Gáis operates its NI transmission pipelines from the grid control centre at its headquarters in Cork. At present, gas for customers off the NI pipelines comes from the UK through the Scotland to Northern Ireland pipeline (SNIP) owned by Premier Transmission and operated by Bord Gáis.

4. The completion of the South-North pipeline adds capacity and security of supply to the NI gas network, as gas can also be supplied through the two Bord Gáis interconnectors that come ashore at Gormanston in Co Meath and Loughshinney in Co Dublin.

5. The South-North gas pipeline connects the gas networks north and south, thereby providing the physical infrastructure for an all-island gas market. Both regulatory authorities are working the market arrangements necessary to facilitate the commercial operation of an all-island gas market.

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