Western People (Ireland): Corrib group warns Shell of new battle: “After eight long years, one of the most hotly-debated planning cases in Irish history reached its conclusion last month when Shell Ireland Ltd finally go the go-ahead to develop a E500m gas terminal at Bellanaboy, on the North Mayo coastline”: “Although the news seemed to go in favour of Shell Ireland this time, the Western People has learned that the battle is far from over.” (ShellNews.net) 8 Dec 04
By: Cróna Esler
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
After eight long years, one of the most hotly-debated planning cases in Irish history reached its conclusion last month when Shell Ireland Ltd finally go the go-ahead to develop a E500m gas terminal at Bellanaboy, on the North Mayo coastline.
Although the news seemed to go in favour of Shell Ireland this time, the Western People has learned that the battle is far from over. Many residents in the Erris area have spent the last number of years fighting against this controversial application and they are not prepared to give up the fight just yet.
Currently, Shell is working towards mobilising the site and confirmed that Mayo County Council is undertaking the job of upgrading the road between Bellanaboy and the Srahmore deposition site. Shell Ireland stated that it hoped to begin haulage next Spring.
The residents from the area who have been protesting against this development have not yet lodged a judicial review. However, Mrs Maura Harrington, principal of Inver National School and one of the chief objectors, assured the Western People that this fight was far from over. Keeping her cards close to her chest, Mrs Harrington indicated that they have plans in the pipeline but would not disclose details.
“An Bord Pleanála merely ended one phase. There are still many avenues we can take,” she warned.
Following the decision by An Bord Pleanála, Shell Ireland sent out a letter to the residents living along the pipeline route and advised locals that representatives from Shell would be calling to houses in the area to discuss the wiring off of land.
According to Mrs Harrington, up to half of the residents along the route have contested their plans.
However, a spokesperson for Shell Ireland disputed these claims, stating that most of the owners are agreeable and explained that discussions are still continuing with a number of householders. “The permits are in place so now it’s just a matter of reaching an acceptable agreement with the locals,” he voiced. The spokesperson said that the company intended to engage with locals to help them to appreciate the plans.
While it understood that people have concerns, it stressed that the pipeline is 100% safe and is used for gas transportation all over the world. The gas pipeline that will be put in place by Shell Ireland meets the International Code of Practice for Gas Transfer Pipelines, under the British Standard 8010. This is the industry-accepted code for pipelines and the code will be used in the design and construction of the line.
The thickness of the steel measures over twice the recommended density and has a two fold safety factor. The maximum initial pressure of gas through the pipeline will be 150bars, however as the natural pressure of the reservoir drops, so too will gas pressure. Nevertheless the 27.1mm steel pipe is intended to withstand pressure measuring 345bars, and provides a two-fold safety factor.
“The thickness of the pipe walls are over twice as thick as they need to be and would be safe to withstand over twice the pressure that will be pumped ashore in Mayo,” voiced the spokesperson.