Written Answers. - Natural Gas Extension to Carlow.

230.

asked the Minister for Industry and Energy the progress made to provide Kinsale natural gas for Carlow city and surrounding areas; and when this gas will be available to consumers in the Carlow area.

The recent successful completion of the Cork-Dublin pipeline represents the first stage in the development of gas from the Kinsale field. Consideration will now be given to the extension of supplies to other premium market areas where this can be done efficiently and economically.

My next priority is to consider the extension of supply to provincial centres which have existing town gas industries, provided, of course, that it can be demonstrated that it is technically and economically viable to do so.

The extension of supply to other population centres, especially areas such as Carlow which are near the Cork-Dublin pipeline and which do not have an existing supply of town gas, is also being considered but the preparations of such centres themselves to distribute and market the gas are important factors.