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NIPPON GASES CO2 HUB
Work is well under way to construct a major liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) import and distribution terminal at Warrenpoint Port.
The £9.5 million project is being undertaken by Nippon Gases, one of the world’s leading industrial gas firms and is due to be completed in Autumn 2020.
The facility will have the capability to store 2,500 tonnes of liquid CO2 for the food and drinks industry across Ireland.
By using CO2 gas that has been produced by other processes – and would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere – the plant does not contribute to the release of carbon.
It will also reduce by more than half-a-million kilometres, the distance travelled by road tankers each year, making a major contribution to cutting carbon emissions.
Your questions answered
Nippon Gases is part of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, a Japanese multi-national industrial gas manufacturer established in 1910, and one of the top four industrial gas companies in the world.
A member of the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) for more than 30 years, EIGA has awarded Nippon Gases with its Annual Safety Award for best personnel safety performance 14 times in the last 16 years.
The plant at Warrenpoint is the first major investment in Ireland by the firm since it purchased Praxair Gases Europe in December 2018.
This investment by Nippon Gases is a major endorsement of Warrenpoint Port and recognises the harbour’s unique position equidistant between Belfast and Dublin, making it the ideal location to facilitate the distribution of goods across the whole of Ireland.
The CO2 stored at the facility will be food grade and will serve the food and beverage market across Ireland. It will add the fizz to drinks while food applications include modified atmosphere packing, chilling, and freezing. It is also used in the production of dry ice which is used in airline catering, online food sales, plus the transport of pharmaceutical and clinical products.
The new facility will significantly reduce carbon emissions.
With this investment, Nippon is radically changing the supply chain for its Irish customers by importing via ship rather than road tanker. One ship will be the equivalent of 90 road tankers and will reduce by more than half-a-million kilometres, the distance travelled by tankers annually.
Furthermore, the liquid carbon dioxide that will pass through the terminal is ‘recovered’ CO2, produced by other processes, that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
Full planning permission was granted in 2015 for the facility following the application LA07/2015/0056/F. All relevant approvals were granted for the project as part of a rigorous planning process, which followed all normal procedures including notification of the public.
Reference to the plant, including visualised images of the projected development was also included in the two-day public consultation on the Port Masterplan, held in the Town Dock offices in Warrenpoint in 2018.
Absolutely. The liquid gas stored in the terminal will be food grade. All product will arrive in bulk by ship, stored, and then delivered directly to customers in a process that is tried, tested, and safe.
As required by law, all the tanks at Warrenpoint will be re-certified in accordance with current Pressure Systems Safety Regulations before use and at regular intervals afterwards.
The terminal has been designed in accordance with all relevant national and international standards and subject to independently chaired Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) and Safety Integrity Level (SIL) studies.
All statutory consents have been obtained in respect of the environment while specific detailed Construction Method Statements have been prepared and approved by the Environment Agency to ensure the construction is conducted safely and without negative impact on the environment.
As part of rigorous landscaping conditions, more than 1,200 native trees and shrubs have been planted around the site and will ultimately screen the tanks.
A Habitats Risk Assessment was also carried out to assess the impacts on the nearby designated areas, namely the Natura 2000 sites, and found there would be no negative impacts on these sites.
The planning application was screened for an Environmental Impact Assessment by the Council. The response was that there would be no likely significant environmental effect.
Operational noise and transport impact were both assessed during the planning process.
It is anticipated that the additional HGV movements will be limited to four to five on average per day on the Newry Road. It is a stipulation of the planning approval that there is to be no vehicular activity on site between 11pm and 6am.
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