EPA confirms decision to grant a licence to Shell E&P Ireland Limited

Date released: Nov 13 2007

  • EPA confirms decision to grant a licence to Shell E&P Ireland Limited.
  • The licence contains more than 90 individual conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the installation.
  • The EPA will carry out its own independent inspection and monitoring of emissions from the installation.
  • The EPA will provide public access to all monitoring results and reports.

The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed its earlier decision to grant a licence to Shell E&P Ireland Limited to develop gas refinery and combustion plant facilities at Bellanaboy Bridge, Bellagelly South, County Mayo.

The licence provides for the processing of natural gas that will be exported to the Bord Gais Eireann (BGE) distribution network. The licence contains more than 90 individual conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the proposed installation.

The EPA is satisfied that emissions from the refinery, when operated in accordance with the conditions of the licence, will not adversely affect human health or the environment and will meet all relevant national and EU standards.


The decision by the Board of the EPA follows an exhaustive examination of the:
- licence application;
- submissions and objections from interested parties;
- detailed report from the Chairman of the oral hearing of objections, which sat for 12 days in April and May of this year.

The Board noted that cold venting was an issue of major concern to local residents but accepted the Chairman’s recommendations that this was the best environmental option in the circumstances due to the small volume of gas released. 

The Board accepted the recommendations contained in the report:
- to strengthen the controls relating to the risk of pollution to Carramore Lake;
- to increase the monitoring of the marine waters around the discharge point;
- to enhance the level of noise monitoring at nearby noise sensitive locations and
- to provide greater control of methanol releases. 

In addition to imposing significant controls on the operation of the installation the licence sets out a series of monitoring and reporting requirements, which will provide the EPA and the general public with detailed insight into the environmental performance of the installation.

The EPA will carry out its own independent inspection and monitoring of emissions from the installation as well as a detailed annual audit of the operations at the installation.

The EPA will provide public access to all monitoring results and reports.

The EPA decision and oral hearing report are available on the EPA website at:
http://www.epa.ie/whatwedo/licensing/ippc/shell


Other relevant documentation including the licence application, Environmental Impact Statement, third party submissions, proposed determination, inspector’s report, and objections are available on the EPA website at:
http://www.epa.ie/whatwedo/licensing/ippc/


Notes to the Editor
The EPA is debarred in law from granting an IPPC licence unless it is satisfied that the activity concerned, carried out in accordance with such conditions as may be attached to a licence, will not cause environmental pollution.

The EPA received the licence application on 8th December 2004.  Further information was sought from the applicant and was received by the EPA, completing the application, on 12th October 2006. 

The EPA considered the application and supporting documentation received from the applicant, all valid submissions received from other parties and the report of its inspector.  The proposed decision was issued on 26 January 2007. 

Thirteen valid objections to the proposed decision were received and an oral hearing of these objections was held between 16 April and 9 May 2007.