The Corrib Gas Partners have welcomed the decision from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant an operating licence for the Bellanaboy Bridge gas-processing terminal.
They state that the decision is a significant milestone towards the provision of indigenous natural gas from the Corrib field.
The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licence (IPPC) application was subject to a thorough and transparent process, including a 12-day oral hearing during which members of the local community - including many opponents - participated fully and had an opportunity to raise their concerns.
The Corrib Gas Partners note that the EPA, the competent authority in terms of IPPC licensing in Ireland, confirms that emissions from the gas processing terminal 'will not adversely affect human health or the environment and will meet all relevant national and EU standards, when operated in accordance with the conditions of the proposed licence'.
SEPIL Deputy Managing Director, Terry Nolan said - "This is a significant milestone for the delivery of Corrib natural gas to the Irish market. The Corrib Gas Partners are committed to building and operating a world-class facility at Bellanaboy. All decisions around the project are taken with due concern for the protection of the environment. We continue to be open to talk to any groups or individuals who may have outstanding concerns around the project."
Work on the Bellanaboy terminal site has been progressing steadily since operations resumed on the site a year ago. The removal of 450,000 tonnes of peat from the site - which was completed in June this year - has allowed full-scale construction of the terminal to begin with the erection of the first steel structures to hold the pipe racks and other associated processing equipment.
The Corrib project is already bringing many benefits to the local area, such as jobs and investment. Approximately 450 people are currently working at the Bellanaboy terminal site and this will rise to over 700 by the middle of 2008.