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Urgent assurances needed on the security of NI’s energy supply - Beggs

Roy Beggs MLA has expressed concern following the news that Kilroot Power Station faces closure.  

Roy Beggs MLA said:

“This is a massive blow to the hundreds of staff and subcontractors who work at Kilroot and Ballylumford Power Stations.  While the power station did face closure in 2023, this news will shock the many workers who are now facing uncertain futures.  I think there needs be a rethink from SONI even at this late stage and I will be meeting with the Unions.

“This news will raise concerns about the security of Northern Ireland’s energy supply.  While the North/South Interconnector has received planning permission in recent days, it will be 3 years before it will become operational.   This, alongside the possibility for unanticipated delays, means we need urgent assurances about continuing supply.

“I recently met with the Utility Regulator and Department of the Economy to express concerns I had and I would call on both SONI and the Utility Regulator to make a clear statement on how they think supply will be maintained.  We are currently facing a lack of diversity in energy supply and a complete dependence on the gas pipeline.

“The Ulster Unionist Party has long raised concerns about Northern Ireland’s energy policy.  We need an Executive in place with a Minister who is prioritising a secure and competitive energy supply for Northern Ireland.  We cannot afford to have any doubts or uncertainty, not least for customers, but also because of the disastrous message it sends out to potential investors if we are viewed as being at risk of major outages.”

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