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Controversial airport fuel pipeline clears its first hurdle with council


Sean Kenny: concerns

Sean Kenny: concerns

Sean Kenny: concerns

A pipeline that will carry jet fuel 14km from Dublin Port to Dublin Airport has been given the thumbs up by one of the local councils that must approve the controversial plan.

Fingal County Council has just given the project the go-ahead, but Dublin City Council has told the companies behind the scheme that it wants additional information before making a decision.

About 11km of the planned pipeline would snake underneath land overseen by Dublin City Council, with the final 3km leg making its way through territory in Fingal County Council.

The scheme - a revived version of a plan first approved more than a decade ago - would see the pipeline wind its way under heavily populated areas as well as some of the busiest roads in the country.

Two companies are behind the plan - Portlaoise engineering firm Fingleton White, and Dublin-based Reynolds Logistics - point out that current fuel demand at Dublin Airport results in over 15,000 fuel tanker journeys a year being made between it and Dublin Port.

"It is estimated that some 200,000 litres of diesel fuel are used each year by the tankers transporting the fuel, which equates to an annual emission of 500 tonnes of CO2," they point out.

They have also told the local councils that the transportation of petroleum products by tanker along busy commuter roads raises a number of health and safety issues. They point to a UK study which concluded "that the operation of the proposed pipeline has a significantly lower level of risk".

Current aviation fuel usage at Dublin Airport is 630 million litres a year. That's projected to rise to 1.45bn litres a year by 2035. Although aircraft are becoming increasingly fuel efficient, the amount of passenger traffic at Dublin Airport is forecast to hit 40 million a year by 2030 - nearly double the current number.

But local Fianna Fáil councillor Sean Haughey told the Irish Independent that he still has significant reservations about the proposed pipeline and he expects that the project will be referred to An Bord Pleanala.

"There's concern about it among households along the route," he said. Construction is expected to last 10 months.

Fingal County Council said that the plan is acceptable in terms of proper planning and sustainable development.

Labour TD Sean Kenny represents the Dublin Bay North area and he said a number of residents contacted him yesterday to raise their concerns.

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"They are concerned about the impact the pipelines would have on the digging up of their streets, and how the roads and the Malahide Road will be affected in terms of traffic movement," he added. "People will be concerned about the safety aspect, of having a fuel pipeline under their street."

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