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Industry News

Belfast Approves Power Plant Ties with Dublin

LCG, Aug. 18, 2000--The electricity regulator of Northern Ireland has approved plans under which a 150 million natural gas-fired power plant would be built in Ulster by a joint venture including the Republic of Irelands state-owned Electricity Supply Board.

The 400 megawatt plant will be built by a joint venture between the ESB and British Gas at a cost of about $225 million (U.S.) at the site of an existing oil-fired plant in the town of Coolkeeragh near Londonderry -- or Derry, if you live in the Republic.

With the plant as an anchor customer, British Gas would find it feasible to build a natural gas pipeline connecting northeastern Ireland with Scotland. The new pipeline, in turn, would permit natural gas service to about 80,000 new customers in Northern Ireland.

The ESB-BG joint venture is called Coolkeeragh Group Ltd. Its proposal was chosen by Northern Irelands power regulator Douglas McIldoon in competition with alternative proposals from PowerGen and Viridian.

The ESB said about 350 construction workers would be required to build the plant, which would provide 40 full time employees once completed.

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