Positive meeting with Bord Gais in relation to Nenagh Gas Line5th April 2012
I welcome the advancements made in providing a gas link to the Nenagh area, in a most productive meeting recently held between Arrabawn Co-operative in Nenagh and the Bord Gais executive. The aim of this meeting was to determine the viability of developing such a gas line to serve the entire Nenagh area, a project which would be a huge boost to local businesses and the entire community.
For some time I have been petitioning Bord Gais on this matter. I subsequently secured this meeting with the management of Bord Gais which took place on the 23rd of March.
Bord Gais have adopted an open and positive attitude in considering and reviewing this project and should be praised for such.
I am pleased to say that the meeting recently held was successful and constructive. The focus was placed on both parties working together into the future to examine the viability of such a link and developing and furthering this project in the coming months. Bord Gais welcomed the submission put forward by Arrabawn and have agreed to scrutinise the figures in more detail with a view to confirming demand in the area with not only Arrabawn but also other industries in and around the town. It is expected that pending this examination they will be making a formal request for approval to the Commission for Energy Regulation in the coming months.
Arrabawn is one of the largest employers in the region with over 300 employees. The Nenagh site provides numerous jobs for the locality and also serves to provide countless ancillary jobs in the provision of support services for the co-operative. There is huge potential for growth in the agri-food industry in the coming years as the milk quota system will be opening up and it is projected that milk production will greatly increase in North Tipperary. Such growth within this hugely successful company would lead to numerous new jobs coming available. However the stark reality is that Arrabawn Co-op cannot continue to compete without an alternative and cheaper source of energy. With many of their competitors across the country already benefiting from a natural gas supply this link is essential. Bord Gais have the capacity to supply such a vital amenity which would secure the continued development of Arrabawn and lead to the provision of countless further jobs and other related job opportunities in the Nenagh Area. Without a gas supply these jobs will be lost.
Such an energy link would be of untold benefit not alone to Arrabawn but to all businesses, retailers and industries across Nenagh. The provision of such a link would provider a cheaper, cleaner source of fuel therefore reducing business costs and helping to make our businesses more competitive. In these difficult times I believe that every possible avenue must be examined to help our employers. We must create conditions that encourage and help these businesses to increase competiveness, boost turnover and subsequently to take on more employees. It is essential for the future of Nenagh, to create and advance jobs, to secure a cheaper source of energy.
I will work closely with all my Oireachtas colleagues in the constituency to ensure a successful outcome to this energy line application on behalf of Nenagh Industry.