Image used for illustrative purpose only. The Ballylongford Tarbert landbank, the proposed location of Shannon LNG Ltd's LNG terminal. Picture: Domnick Walsh
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US group committed to pursuing LNG project in Ireland

The firm seeking to proceed with contentious plans for a €650m Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Co Kerry has reaffirmed its commitment to press ahead with the project.

In new accounts signed off on of this year, the directors of Shannon LNG Ltd state that “the company intends to begin construction of the terminal after consultation is completed and the planning permission is approved.”

The application for the LNG project for a 128-acre site at Ballylongford in north Kerry is currently before An Bord Pleanála, and the new accounts reveal that the firm recorded pre-tax losses of €5.39m in 2021 as it incurred further costs in advancing the project.

The pre-tax losses of €5.39m for 2021 follow pre-tax profits of €4.12m for 2020. The losses arose from a spend of €5.08m in administrative expenses and interest charges of €351,316. At the end of December 2021, the firm was sitting on accumulated losses of €15.18m.

The firm is a subsidiary of the US-based New Fortress Energy Inc and the Irish unit’s cash funds declined sharply from €2.16m to €104,445.

The company has yet to record any revenues and its activities are supported by loans from New Fortress Energy Inc.

Growing debt

The amount in loans provided by New Fortress Energy Inc increased from €11.4m to €28.2m during 2021 while the amount owed by the group to Shannon LNG increased from €133,324 to €12.33m.

The directors state that the firm is in the process of seeking planning permits to build the LNG terminal.

They state that the issuing of these permits “will be subject to administrative or judicial challenges, including from non-governmental groups that act on behalf of citizens”.

The directors state that “for example in September 2018, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) filed a judicial challenge on the extension of planning permission previously obtained”.

The directors state that this planning permission was subsequently quashed by the High Court in November 2020.

Addressing the company’s going concern status, a note states that the directors have a reasonable expectation that the company has adequate resources and support from its parent undertaking to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future.

Green Party leader and Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan has already written to An Bord Pleanála to say that he does not support the venture.

A planning report lodged with the application to An Bord Pleanála has stated that the project will help address security of energy supply risks for the country and will address electricity capacity shortfalls.

The planning report states that what is proposed “does not depend on fracked gas”.

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