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New location urged for Corrib refinery

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Irish Times: New location urged for Corrib refinery

27/04/2008  17:51

Residents of Rossport in Co Mayo have called on Shell E&P to consider a new initiative aimed at resolving the dispute over the location of the Corrib gas refinery.

In a statement issued today, residents urged Shell E&P to consider relocating the Corrib refinery to a more remote and coastal location, which they claimed would resolve all of the problems surrounding the Bellanaboy site in one move.

Three of the men who signed today’s statement were jailed in 2005 as part of the ‘Rossport Five’ group who had strongly opposed the original route of the pipeline.

Rossport residents said today that their stance has “never been anti-gas, but our priority has always been health, safety and the environment, and this remains the case”.

An alternative route for the pipeline in Co Mayo was announced earlier this month. The partners in the project claimed the new route would be twice as far from local houses as the original pipeline.

The new pipeline, proposed by RPS consultants following 11 months of public consultation, would also have its pressure limited to less than half of the original pressure.

The proposal emerged following the publication of a report by mediator Peter Cassells 14 months ago.

RPS, the company contracted by the Corrib Gas partners to identify an alternative route in the vicinity of Rossport, said that as well as modifying the route of the pipeline, the Corrib partners have agreed to limit the design pressure in the onshore section of the pipeline to 144 bar, less than half of the original design pressure.

According to the project partners, the Corrib pipeline will provide up to 60 per cent of Ireland’s gas needs at peak supply period and will add €3 billion to GDP over the life of the project.

The new Rossport intitiative was put forward by three local priests following a series of events, culminating in a recent visit to Norway as community representatives alongside west-of-Ireland politicians from Labour, Sinn Fein and the Green Party, which included discussions with representatives of the Norwegian oil & gas workers unions and Shell’s Corrib partners Statoil.

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