The Government's policy statement on the importation of fracked gas was published in May of this year, fulfilling a commitment set out in the programme for Government. As set out in the policy statement, the placing of a legal prohibition on the importation of fracked gas in national legislation was being considered. However, in the context of European Union treaties and the laws governing the internal energy market, it is considered that a legal ban on the importation of fracked gas could not be put in place at this time. The policy statement identifies the highest risk of fracked gas being imported into Ireland on a large scale would be via liquefied natural gas terminals, if any were to be constructed.
The policy statement provides that, pending the outcome of a review of the security of energy supply of Ireland's electricity and natural gas systems, it would not be appropriate for the development of any liquefied natural gas terminals in Ireland to be permitted or proceeded with. I am aware of one application for a liquefied natural gas project that has been made. In relation to that project, I have written to An Bord Pleanála setting out Government policy on such projects, to which An Bord Pleanála is statutorily obliged to have regard.
The security of energy supply of Ireland's electricity and natural gas systems, which is under way, is focusing on the period to 2030 in the context of ensuring a sustainable pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. The review will consider what role, if any, LNG should have in Ireland in future. I expect the review to complete in mid-2022 following which it will be submitted to the Government.