Wednesday 19 September 2007

Shell consultants list three possible routes for pipeline

CONSULTANTS for Shell E&P Ireland yesterday announced three possible onshore Corrib pipeline routes as the campaign of opposition to the project pledged to fight the plan to the bitter end.

The consultants, RPS, published a list of eight potential routes last June.

Their next step is to open discussions on the proposed three routes with the public and landowners, and they say an environmental impact statement will be prepared for the final planning submission.

Shell to Sea campaign spokesman John Monaghan said last night: “We don’t want to see the pipeline at all, in any form, and we have stated that very clearly to the consultants.”

The only option, and one which was not included in the consultants’ shortlist, was to remove the pipeline and proposed refinery away from socially and environmentally sensitive areas, in other words out of the Rossport region, he said.

The campaign will continue to use legal and whatever other avenues are open to it to overturn the Shell plan, he said.

Aside from a “distinct minority”, there was nobody in the region who wanted anything other than a reversal of the pipeline plan, and consequently the shortlisted options would do nothing to end the battle between Shell and the campaign of opposition, he said.

The final route is expected to be chosen by the end of the year.

Yesterday’s announcement came after three months of consultation with landowners, the local community and statutory bodies regarding the options published last June.

The consultants’ shortlist has been placed on display in their project office in Belmullet, Co Mayo.

Once the route is chosen, the consultants have expressed their intention to submit the final Corrib gas pipeline route to State authorities for approval for the first time.

Irish Examiner

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