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Irish Times: Shell offers work to Mayo firms

By: Christine Newman,
Published: Aug 22, 2006

Shell E&P Ireland has said that 5 million worth of services and work on the controversial Corrib Gas project in Co Mayo will be open to tender for local businesses.

Work has been suspended on the proposed terminal at Bellanaboy for almost a year. The company has indicated that it will begin work at the site next month despite the pledge by the Shell to Sea campaign group to continue protests which have been maintained at the site since last year.

Yesterday, Shell said it was seeking “expressions of interest” from local businesses to tender for services and work at the terminal to the value of 5 million.

Advertisements for site services and sub-contractor work are to be published in local newspapers.

Terry Nolan, deputy managing director of Shell, said: “We believe that it is time now to move this project forward so that it can start to deliver tangible jobs and benefits for the local community.”

The terminal had been through a rigorous planning process and had full planning permission, he said.

“One of the main concerns expressed by the people of Erris was that the project was not delivering enough tangible local benefits. We listened to what the community was telling us and worked in conjunction with the primary site contractor, Roadbridge Ltd, to identify services and work that could be made open to tender to local businesses.”

The Corrib partners had agreed to implement all the recommendations of the Independent Safety Review, he said.

Earlier this month, the company also accepted a recommendation by Government mediator Peter Cassells to seek modifications to the onshore pipeline’s route in the vicinity of Rossport. It also said that it wished to “review” its legal position in relation to ongoing High Court injunction proceedings.

However, a Shell to Sea campaign spokesman said that the response locally among objectors to the pipeline was that the modification announcement was a “ploy”, given the difficulty of finding an acceptable alternative route. Shell to Sea maintains that the terminal must be moved offshore, which would then rule out the need for a high-pressure onshore pipeline.

 

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