REPRO FREE Aleisha Woodward, Acting US Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission; Jon Cook, CEO FLEX; John Mullins, Chairman Port of Cork; Kathleen Eisbrenner, CEO NextDecade and Brendan Keating, CEO Port of Cork pictured at a briefing hosted by the Port of Cork Company, together with NextDecade and FLEX to discuss the potential benefits for Ireland as a result of the recently signed MOU to advance a joint business development opportunity in Cork Harbour for a new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FRSU) and associated infrastructure. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The Port of Cork have laid the foundation stone for the state’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Cork Harbour.
The first ever LNG terminal in the British Isles is to be built at a cost of almost €350million by a joint venture between Texan LNG development company Next Decade and Flex LNG would have the capacity to fuel the entire country for 14 days.
The project would see a new jetty and 2 km pipe constructed where liquefied gas would be turned back into a vapour and pumped directly into the Gas network at Whitegate.
The scheme is expected to create an initial 100 new jobs and could be operational as early as 2019.
The Port of Cork say once planning and foreshore licencing has been granted the facility could be fully operational within 18 months.
They say the community will be fully engaged with during the planning application process.
The plan also involves the storing of US gas in caverns in the Kinsale gas field which is due to run out in 2021.
The Green party in Cork have raised concerns that the off shore facility may not have the same health and safety requirements as those on land a statement the department of Communication and Energy refute, they say the operation will adhere to the current European regulations which have standardised both on shore and off shore guidelines.
Currently Cork harbour accounts for 30% of all energy supplied in the state.
The Port of Cork have publically stated that they wish to grow the harbour as a major energy hub similar to Aberdeen in Scotland.
Irving oil and Bord Gais is the Ports biggest customer in that 50% of the traffic goes to the Whitegate Oil Refinery, which equates to 30% in revenue.
Under EU and IEA rules Ireland is obliged to maintain 90 days reserves of national strategic stock.
We have 100,000 tonnes in a combination of both crude and refined products at Whitegate and a further 550,000 tonnes of refined products at Whiddy Island and no crude.
Captain Michael McCarthy the Ports Commercial Manager said the recent memorandum of understanding signed by both companies meant a security of supply for the state.
“Most industry is now powered by natural gas, we have no reserves as such should something happen the Corrib gas field or the Inter-connector between Scotland and Ireland.”
He said the new terminal will play a significant role in the development of the Harbour.
Port of Cork Chairman John Mullins said “this project will be designed to support incremental opportunities such as small scale LNG distribution and bunkering for LNG fuelled Cruise ships.
Making it more attractive for liners to visit the port by providing a refuelling depot.
A recently published white paper on energy aims to make Ireland Carbon neutral by 2100. Within the document are a number of tax breaks and grants to encourage the adoption electric and gas vehicles.