Published: Tue, 16 February 2016
MEP for Ireland South and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly, has welcomed today’s launch of a Security of Gas Supply Package by the European Commission, which has included Co. Kerry project Shannon LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) as a key gas supply point.
Speaking today (Tuesday), the Kerry MEP said that this package, which includes an LNG and storage strategy for Europe, is extremely positive as it means that the EU is looking to capitalise on the rapidly changing global gas markets.
“This is a critical time for European energy policy. Recent developments in global gas markets offer opportunities that will bring significant benefits for the security and competitiveness of our supply.”
“The United States and Australia are set to become global gas exporters in the form of LNG with significant export capacity being developed. This added supply will make global markets increasingly liquid”
Kelly went on to highlight how a more diverse gas supply will bring significant benefits to the European energy market.
“By increasing supply options, the EU will be able to arbitrage between Russian gas and LNG on the global market. This represents a massive opportunity to reduce our reliance on less-than-dependable piped Russian gas and bring new competitive players onto the market.”
“If Gazprom wants to keep market share in Europe, it will have to pursue a competitive pricing strategy – this benefits the European consumer”
European Commission Vice President and Head of the Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, has said that the aim is to ensure that each European Member State will have access to three different sources of gas. MEP Kelly welcomed this goal, highlighting Ireland’s dependence on UK gas and how the Shannon LNG project will adequately address this problem when supplies from the newly online Corrib gas field diminish:
“While the EU looks to diversify away from Russia, Ireland should be seeking to move away from its reliance on the UK. While currently, the urgency of the issue is reduced by Corrib, which at full capacity can supply up to 60% of our needs, by the early 2020s we’ll go back to being reliant on Britain for 95% of our gas needs – this will once again put us in a very vulnerable position”
“Given that around half of our electricity is gas-generated, the prospect of once again being so reliant on a single supplier is a cause for some concern”
“Shannon LNG is the best solution available to us; it has today been once again identified by the European Commission as a vital part of the EU gas supply strategy, and enables us to access the rapidly developing global market and bring competition to the domestic market, while lowering energy bills in the process.
“This is an opportunity that Ireland cannot afford to miss. We must do everything we can to facilitate the completion of this key strategic project”, he conluded.