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North South Interconnector Needed for North West

The North West needs the North South Interconnector if there is to be a reliable source and supply of electricity. That was the overarching consensus by those attending the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s energy conference entitled ‘Powering Business in the North West’.  

The event, which was kindly sponsored by SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland), saw attendance from across the NW spectrum. Politicians, leaders in business, particularly those from the manufacturing sector and a number of key energy suppliers, all were in attendance. After a number of presentations from a number of key speakers, a lively question and answer session ensued discussing what was needed to progress the North South Interconnector and the energy issues applicable to the North West as well as some individual concerns from business men and women, energy suppliers and politicians.

Gavin Killeen, President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, said; “It was clear at the Chamber’s conference that energy is a very important issue for many businesses as well as those in the public sector and the political arena. It was great to see so many people attend the event and more importantly engage and voice their concerns over the future and sustainability of energy in the North West.

“It is now very important that armed with this detailed knowledge and information that we now look at how we can ensure that the North West has a sustainable energy supply and is not being held back by a lack of infrastructure.”

SONI, which ensures a safe, secure, efficient and reliable operation of the high voltage electricity system in NI, General Manager Robin McCormick said that “our joint project with EirGrid will see a 400Kv overhead line linking electricity networks in NI and RoI which will ensure security of supply and thus enable business growth, investment and job creation.”

SONI was also joined by Jenny Pyper from the Utility Regulator, Kathy Graham, Interim Director of Policy from the Consumer Council and Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive, of Manufacturing NI who all contributed positively on this matter.

Brian McGrath, Chief Executive of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners who kindly chaired the event also remarked: “This energy conference has highlighted the need for the North South Interconnector and today it has been unanimously supported across all sectors. The Interconnector without a doubt will be one of the catalysts for further investment and industrial growth in the North West.”

For further information on the event visit www.londonderrychamber.co.uk.