Islandmagee-gas-storage-project-December-2020-Advertisement Period-AIL & Consent to Discharge

Consultation opened on 16 December 2020. Closing date 13 January 2021.


***** We will accept responses on this advertisement up to 17:00 on the 20th January 2021 in view of the holiday period and pandemic restrictions. *****

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Resource and Efficiency Division, is the regulatory authority for Northern Ireland with regard to the Water Abstraction and Impoundment licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 and the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999. This responsibility is delivered by the Water Regulation Team, within the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

The competent authority (The Department) considers it appropriate to obtain the opinion of the general public and this project is being advertised under Regulation 43(4) of The Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995.


Consultation description

Advertisement description

Islandmagee Energy, 8 Portmuck Road, Islandmagee, Larne, Co Antrim, BT40 3TW has made submissions to the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs to Abstract Seawater (under the Water Abstraction and Impoundment (licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006), the seawater will be used to dissolve salt and the resulting effluent will be discharged as Brine (under the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999). The proposed discharge location is off the Eastern side of Islandmagee in the Irish Sea.

This web page publishes all relevant documentation to assist the public in formulating a view of these review submissions, for Consent to Discharge and Abstraction of sea water associated with this Islandmagee Energy Ltd project.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) issued authorisations for both the abstraction of seawater and discharge of solution mining brine on 14th November 2014. Both of these consents will be reviewed to reflect the company's name change, capture subsequent European designations in the area and requirements to assess up to date information.  The company were asked to conduct additional survey work to update the original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and provide an update on the brine dispersion modelling.  Documents 7-17 have been produced in 2019 to support this review.

These documents were included in a recent consultation submitted by Islandmagee Energy Ltd for a Marine Licence under the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 (as amended in 2011) which closed on 27th March 2020, but have been included for this submission for completeness in considering the project.

Planning permission for terrestrial works was granted on 18 October 2012 (F/2010/0092/F).

Project description

The application proposes the creation of 7 underground caverns by solution mining below Larne Lough, which would be used for the storage of natural gas. The application includes the associated marine infrastructure to enable seawater abstraction and the subsequent discharge of brine from the creation of the caverns by solution mining.

The project includes the design and construction of a surface brine pumping facility, a gas compression facility, associated gas pipelines, a brine and seawater pipeline and associated infrastructure.

These submissionsare limited to:

  1. the seawater abstraction and
  2. the brine discharge.

How to respond

The submissions and associated supporting documents may be viewed during office hours (10am – 4pm) at our premises at  NIEA, Water Regulation Team Offices, 17 Antrim Road, Lisburn, Co Antrim, BT28 3AL. Please contact NIEA on 028 92 623036 or 028 92 623155 to arrange a viewing.

Please send your written responses to the advertisement to either the address above or to

Please include ‘Islandmagee Gas Storage TC 041/20 & AIL/2012/0033, as the subject line of your email or as a heading in any written correspondence.

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