Corrib Onshore Pipeline

Client

Shell E&P Ireland Ltd.

Location

Bellagelly South, Bellanaboy Bridge, Co Mayo

Involvement

2009 – Ongoing

Description

The project involved the construction of an 8.3km long gas pipeline, from the point where it comes ashore at Glengad, Co. Mayo, to the Gas Terminal facility at Bellanaboy Bridge. The pipeline route on land traverses a mixture of grassland (located in a candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC), peatland and forestry, while 4.9km of the route is in a tunnel (of 4.2m diameter) under Sruwaddacon Bay (also a cSAC and proposed Special Protection Area (pSPA)).

The project also involved the construction of a Landfall Valve Installation some 50m inland from where the pipeline comes ashore. The pipeline itself is approximately 502mm in diameter.

In areas of peatland the pipeline was installed utilising a ‘stone road’ method of construction, whereby a stone berm was constructed, into which the pipeline and associated services was installed. More traditional ‘cut-and-cover’ construction methodology was used elsewhere.

The tunnel was constructed using ‘segment-lined tunnelling’ methodology.

Our Role

Tom Phillips + Associates (TPA) involvement in the project included the provision of strategic planning advice, peer-review of various EIS chapters, the planning report and notices and associated drawings.

TPA was also part of the strategic leadership group at the Oral Hearings, which were held in 2009 and 2010 and, in respect of the 2010 Oral Hearing, provided witness assistance to the experts who gave evidence on behalf of the applicant. It should be noted that the application was made to An Bord Pleanála under the provisions of the planning legislation that were enacted by the Strategic Infrastructure Act, 2006.

TPA was also directly involved in the preparation and review of the EIS documentation pertaining to the Peat Deposition Site associated with the onshore pipeline development connecting the Gas Terminal with the offshore pipeline. TPA assisted another Planning Consultancy and SEPIL at the Oral Hearing for the onshore pipeline in May / June 2009 and subsequently fulfilled a Strategic Planning and Peer Review role during the preparation of a response to a request for Further Information, which issued from An Bord Pleanála in November 2009.

TPA then assisted SEPIL with the mentoring of Expert Witnesses in the lead up to the reconvened Oral Hearing in August / September 2010 and was part of the Strategic Leadership Team throughout its six week duration.

TPA has had an ongoing planning compliance and strategic advisory role during the course of the pipeline’s construction.

Planning Outcome

An Bord Pleanála approved the Onshore Pipeline application in 2011. The approval was twice amended under successful Section 146B requests to the Board.

The Pipeline has been constructed and reinstatement works are complete.

The milestone of the first gas flow through the pipeline was reached on 31st December 2015.