Regulator welcomes £400m plan

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PLANS to invest £400m in an underground gas storage facility at Islandmagee is “a vote of confidence in the natural gas industry in Northern Ireland”, according to the Utility Regulator.

Coinciding with the announcement that planning consent had been given for the project, the Utility Regulator has granted a licence for the storage of natural gas to Islandmagee Storage Ltd. This follows a public consultation process in September on the proposed granting of the licence.

Shane Lynch, chief executive of the Utility Regulator said: “This facility in Larne will bring a number of potential benefits to Northern Ireland. Not only will the proposed facility provide greater security of supply for Northern Ireland, it would also provide another tool for suppliers in managing energy costs.

“In addition, the ability to bring gas quickly onto the system from storage can also complement wind-powered generation at times when wind levels are low.”