Environmental groups oppose Shannon LNG planning permit extension

Environmental groups oppose Shannon LNG planning permit extensionShannon LNG proposed site (Image courtesy of Shannon LNG)

Shannon LNG terminal proposed for the Shannon estuary has come under more opposition from the environmental organizations following the extension of the planning permission.

The terminal being proposed by Sambolo Resources would import US-produced liquefied natural gas and have a send-out capacity of 28.3 million standard cubic meters per day.

The facility would feature four LNG storage tanks, each with a storage capacity of 200,000 cubic meters and a jetty capable of receiving the largest LNG tankers in operation.

The environmental group, Food & Water Europe, a part of the US-based Food & Water Watch, noted that the An Board Pleanála extended the old planning permission for another five years, without a previous public consultation on the need for LNG development in Ireland.

The environmental groups opposing the project claim that, since the first planning permission was issued in 2008, a number of things have changed, one of which is that the Shannon estuary has been declared an Estuaries Special Protection Area for waterbirds, whales, dolphins and porpoises by the EU.

The An Bord Pleanála, the Irish State Planning Board, however, said that extending the expiring planning permission for the proposed Shannon LNG “would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment,” Food & Water Europe said in its statement.

The group further noted that the economic arguments currently speak against the extension of LNG infrastructure in Europe.

The utilization rate of all existing EU LNG terminals is at only roughly 23 percent, clearly showing that any new investments in LNG infrastructure will almost inevitably create stranded assets, the group claims.

Further claiming that in making its decision the planning board “has failed to provide a proper democratic process” by ignoring local, national and international arguments against the project and is calling for a judicial review of the decision as well as a public consultation on the proposed Shannon LNG terminal.

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