Shannon LNG Project, Wes Edens, and New Fortress Energy
After a previous failed attempt by Wes Edens and his company New Fortress Energy(NFE) to develop the Shannon LNG terminal, the company is back with a new €650 million proposal. The new proposal submitted to the Irish planning authority, An Bord Pleanala, envisages constructing a gas terminal, a power plant, and a data center for the Shannon terminal project.
The previous proposal submitted by Wes Edens’ company was unsuccessful after an Irish high court blocked the company from proceeding with the development. The project had already courted widespread controversy and condemnation from numerous environmental campaign groups.
In a quick retort, the minister of energy in Ireland supported the court’s decision stating that Ireland has no immediate need to have any LNG terminals developed, including the Shannon LNG project. However, the new proposal is being seen as the government backtracking on its stance on fracked gas.
In the previous proposal, Wes Edens stated that the Shannon project was geared towards becoming a leader in carbon-free energy, further adding that the project would achieve zero-emission within ten years upon operationalization.
NFE’s company website indicates the origin of natural gas is the US. Further, the website claims that fracked fossil gas is cleaner than oil or coal, although the company is still geared towards providing zero-carbon energy by moving to hydrogen fuel.
Among people who have spoken against the new government’s stand is Friends of the Irish Environment Director Tony Lowes. Lowes views the new proposal as the government accepting the Shannon project to proceed. The new proposal proposes to complete the project in phases. The first phase will cost €650 million, generate 270 construction jobs during the development and 70 jobs upon completion.
The project will also feature a data center that will create 400 jobs upon completion. The data center will feature eight data halls that will take advantage of the cooling effect at the LNG terminal. However, possible risks of the fire remain a significant threat at any LNG terminal, which is a major source of opposition for the Shannon project.