Plans to import fracked gas through Port of Cork scrapped

Plans to import fracked gas through Port of Cork scrapped

Cllr Oliver Moran said: "The message is very clear, Cork does not welcome fracked gas."

Plans to import fracked gas through the Port of Cork have been scrapped.

In 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Port of Cork with US company NextDecade to import gas from the US, some of which would be fracked gas, through the Port of Cork.

It could have seen an LNG terminal built, using a floating storage and regasification unit.

However, Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, has confirmed that this memorandum expired on 31 December 2020 and the Port of Cork have no intention to renew it.

The confirmation comes through a parliamentary question arranged by Green Party members of Cork city and county councils. 

Minister Ryan said: "As Ireland moves towards carbon neutrality, it does not make sense to develop LNG terminals that import fracked gas. The Programme for Government is clear that the Government does not support the importation of fracked gas and commits to developing a policy statement to establish that approach.

"This policy statement is being developed by my Department and includes consideration of any necessary legal and regulatory provisions. This includes detailed examination of the European energy and environmental frameworks, in which our national laws operate, to ensure the policy statement will be legally robust. 

"It is intended that the policy will apply to all LNG facilities in the State including the project in Cork. Once finalised, I intend to bring the policy statement to Government for approval."

The proposed project sparked controversy particularly because of the fracking process. 

Fracking involves extracting gas by injecting a mixture into the earth to split underground rocks and release gas. The process was banned in Ireland in 2017.

American actor Mark Ruffalo, most widely known for playing The Hulk in the Avengers film series, had also called for the Irish government to stop the importation of fracked US gas into the country.

Welcoming the decision, Green Party councillor for Cork City North East, Oliver Moran, said: "In 2019, we met with members of the Port of Cork and were honoured to have Bekah Hinojosa, a resident from Texas, with us. She was able to explain first hand the effect that extracting gas in this way has on the local environment, especially for already marginalised communities. 

"Ireland banned fracking in 2017. The support from across the city and county in opposing the importing of fracked gas through Cork after that has been tremendous. 

"The message is very clear, Cork does not welcome fracked gas. We know we have to make the transition to a low carbon economy but fracking and all of its effects has no place in that. Not here, not anywhere."

More in this section

Sponsored Content