Gas undertakings generally operate under Special Acts which authorise them to manufacture and distribute gas in certain specified areas. Modifications in these Special Acts required by the undertakings from time to time are made under Section 10 of the Gas Regulation Act, 1920, which enables me to make by Order the required modifications. Before an Order of this kind is made it has to be laid in draft before both Houses of the Oireachtas. The Houses of the Oireachtas may, by resolution, approve the draft Order in the form submitted or may approve it with modifications or additions. When such approval is given I may make the Order in the form in which it has been approved.
The Wexford Gas Consumers' Co., Ltd., have applied to me for a Special Order. The object of the proposed Order is to enable the Company to extend the present limit on their borrowing powers from £20,000 to £60,000 to facilitate the purchase of up-to-date gas manufacturing plant, to extend the limits within which the Company can supply town gas, and to allow the Company to deal in bottled gas.
Notice of the proposed Order was published inIris Oifigiúil and in a local newspaper. Copies of the draft Order were sent to the Wexford Corporation and to the Wexford County Council and to other public bodies who might be concerned. No objections to the proposed Order were received.
The powers requested by the Company are no more than are necessary in order to make improvements in their gas manufacturing and distributing processes which will be required if the gas undertaking is to survive against growing competition from suppliers of other fuels. I am satisfied as to the need for the Order and that there is nothing in it repugnant to the public interest. I, therefore, recommend the Order for the approval of the House.