Foster Launches Consultation On Extension Of Natural Gas Network
Energy Minister, Arlene Foster today announced the launch of a public consultation on the potential for extending the natural gas network in Northern Ireland.
The consultation seeks views from the natural gas industry, energy consumers, and the public on how the existing natural gas network might be extended to new areas.
Commenting on the consultation Arlene Foster said: “This consultation document will support the Strategic Energy Framework (SEF 2010) which recognises that there should be further efforts to develop the natural gas network throughout Northern Ireland where it is economic to do so.
“Extending natural gas to new areas could bring greater consumer choice, help shift the dependence on coal and oil for household heating, and increase the potential for businesses to use a cleaner, more efficient fuel.
“When we have received all the responses to this consultation, my Department will carefully consider all points raised and engage further with key stakeholders, including the Utility Regulator, in order to identify how the benefits provided by natural gas may be accessed by a greater number of the population.”
Also published today are the findings of a study completed in 2010 into the technical and economic feasibility of extending the natural gas network to the west and further areas in the north west of Northern Ireland.
Arlene Foster said: “The information contained in the study may help consultees prepare their responses to the Department.
“Further gas roll-out will, of course, be dependent on the willingness of consumers to connect to natural gas, therefore ensuring the economic viability of any new natural gas transmission and distribution networks. It is important that we fully address all of the issues outlined in the consultation document before deciding the best way forward.”