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Corrib ‘peat-removal period’

The Mayo News

Corrib ‘peat-removal period’

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Corrib reaches critical ‘peat-removal period’Áine RyanSHELL’S Deputy Managing Director, Mr Terry Nolan, has said the company, which will next month start removing thousands of tonnes of peat from the proposed Bellanaboy terminal, is ‘now entering a very critical and challenging period’ of the project’s development. He also informed a press conference in Castlebar last week that Shell welcomed the announcement of an oral hearing by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it would provide an opportunity ‘to dispel some of the myths and propaganda’ about the project. The EPA last week announced that its oral hearing into licensing issues relating to the Corrib Gas Terminal will be held in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Belmullet, from April 16 next. Shell, An Taisce, Kilcommon Parish Priest Father Michael Nallen, the Erris Inshore Fishermen’s Association and individual members of the Shell to Sea campaign are among the 12 objectors to the issuing of a preliminary Integrated Prevention and Control (IPPC) licence. “There were 100,000 tonnes of peat moved to Srahmore in 2005 and there are 350,000 tonnes to be removed. Everything is ready for that, the drivers, trucks, procedures. [The operation] is weather-dependant and realistically it will be April,” said Mr Nolan, explaining that a Management Plan included the selection of drivers and consultation with householders along the route. Mr Nolan described Corrib objectors as a mixed group, some with ‘genuine concerns’, some who were ‘misled and misguided’ and others ‘who wouldn’t want the project anyway’. He said he envisaged that full-scale construction of the refinery will start, once the peat is removed, by August next, with a completion date of late 2009. Gas from the Corrib field would then start flowing, said Mr Nolan, adding that the giant drilling rig had finally arrived at the field that morning (Thursday 22) after battling with stormy seas and a 23-day journey (instead of eight) from the North Sea. He added there would be a total of five wells ready for production at the end of this season. Regarding the new pipeline route, Mr Nolan said that consultants Rural Planning Services (RPS) were at the stage of identifying route corridors. He declined to identify these corridors specifically, but adverted to areas north and south of Rossport and Sruwadaccon Bay.Confirming that Shell had not yet talked to any prospective landowners along the new corridors, Mr Nolan said the company had talked to those landowners who had originally consented, and said they still consented.He was also questioned on the likelihood of imposing new CAOs (Compulsory Acquisition Orders) on landowners along the new pipeline.“I have said that landowner consent is key and I hope we would not be required to use CAOs again. I am not going to speculate further, but we hope that whatever we would do would have the consent of the landowners,” said Mr Nolan, adding that ‘as far as we are concerned the original route was safe’. He said he did not imagine a second Rossport Five situation would arise.Shell to Sea said the peat removal will be ‘a further provocation of a delicate situation’ and showed once again that its concerns were not being addressed.

Posted Date: 
4 April 2007 - 4:40pm