Extending the natural gas system to Thurles would significantly boost local employment and bring down energy cost for local busineses, heard Councillors at this month’s Thurles/Templemore Municipal District Meeting.
Cllr Jim Ryan put forward the motion: “Following on from the success of bringing a natural gas supply to Nenagh, I am calling on the Government to do the same for Thurles.” Cllr Ryan complimented Minister Alan Kelly for spearheading the gas connection to Nenagh, but “Thurles is falling behind other towns.” The link has created savings of some J20m to J30m for the town of Nenagh.
“If Thurles could be given those savings, it would really make it a key competitor compared to other towns.” Cllr Ryan called for a natural gas committee to be set up along the lines of Nenagh’s, which included Deputy Kelly and local business leaders. Thurles’ committee would work with Minister Alex White to bring the project to completion. “Clonmel, Cashel, Tipperary town, Nenagh, all have natural gas. Why not Thurles?I cannot see any reason why not. It would be a positive project for the town. I don’t want this to be a talking shop.” Cllr Willie Kennedy said it would bring employment to the area. District Administrator Michael Ryan said they would have to do a cost benefit analysis. “The problem is there’s no major industrial energy user in town. Nenagh Co-Op uses more energy than the whole of Thurles.” Bord Gais have also changed the formula for calculating the cost-benefits of bringing gas to a town. Mr Ryan said there may not be big enough demand in Thurles to justify the project. “How did a town like Cashel get gas,” asked Cllr Ryan. Cashel is closer to the main pipe network than Thurles, responded Mr Ryan.