Gas network in Northern Ireland extended by 2015

More homes in Northern Ireland could have access to natural gas by 2015, the country’s enterprise minister has said.

Arlene Foster explained: “We are discussing financing issues with Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) and liaising with the utility regulator regarding a competition for gas licences. Subject to the outcome of this competition and the completion of the detailed network design and planning approvals process, pipeline construction works could begin in 2015.”

An economic assessment on extending the gas network to towns in the west, such as Strabane and Omagh, has been completed. Currently, around 120,000 homes and 8,000 businesses are on the gas network, and an increase would lessen the dependence on oil and coal.

“Safe to say it would benefit the west of this province in a way that no other investment has for quite some time,” Arlene added.

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