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The completion of the Corrib project will represent an investment of €800m in Ireland by the Corrib Gas Partners over the next three years.

This investment announcement was made today by Shell E&P Ireland Limited – operators of the project – as Goodbody Economic Consultants updated their assessment of the economic impact the project will make during both its construction and operations phases.

According to Goodbody, work on the final phase of the project, which includes the building of a 4.9km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay in North Mayo, will require an average of 705 people to be employed between now and the end of construction. In addition, the equivalent of a further 760 full-time indirect jobs will be sustained through spin-off business generated by the project.

The economic assessment by Goodbody’s also confirms the significant contribution Corrib has already made in terms of employment and contribution to the Exchequer, with the equivalent of 1,250 full-time jobs sustained between 2004 and 2010 and €887m added to Ireland’s GDP.

The report also indicates that operation of the project – for a period of 15 to 20 years – will add €4.4bn to national GDP, while also meeting up to 60% of Ireland’s gas needs at peak production.

Speaking today as the investment figures were announced, Shell E&P Ireland Limited’s Managing Director, Michael Crothers, highlighted the significance of Corrib on many fronts.

“At a time when the economy is in a difficult place, the Corrib gas project is a beacon in terms of investment and job creation. Over the next three years, €800 million will be invested in Ireland by the Corrib gas partners in the final phase of the project, sustaining the equivalent of 705 full-time positions and 760 indirect jobs. It is encouraging to see many Irish contractors with Corrib experience in a better position to compete effectively for work, both in Ireland and abroad.

“In addition, the importance of gas as a contributor to Ireland’s long-term energy security is also more critical than ever. Over 61% of the country’s electricity needs are now being met by natural gas and Corrib will be Ireland’s main indigenous source of gas once the field is producing,” said Michael Crothers.

Goodbody Economic Report, key findings:

  • Corrib will meet 60% of Ireland’s gas needs at peak production. This is at a time when 61% of our electricity is generated by gas.
  • Operation of the Corrib project (for 15-20 years) will contribute €4.4bn to Ireland’s GDP.
  • Construction and operation will contribute €6bn to Ireland’s GDP.
  • 175 full-time equivalent jobs will be sustained throughout operations.
  • A huge number of local contractors and individuals have worked on the project since 2004. This means that there is now a skilled local workforce available if other projects/industries were to set up here.
  • Investment by Corrib Gas Partners to 2014: €800m in Ireland, over €400m of this in Mayo.

Economic contribution to date (2004-2010):

  • 1,250 full-time equivalent jobs were sustained (this includes direct and indirect jobs).
  • 653 of these were in Mayo.
  • €887m has been added to Ireland’s GDP.
  • €503m of this has been in Mayo and Donegal.
  • Almost €6m has been spent on community investment initiatives to date.
  • Almost €17m has been spent on local road upgrades.
  • The national gas grid has been extended to 12 towns in Mayo and Galway as a direct result of Corrib.

Economic contribution 2011 to end of construction phase:

  • 705 direct full-time equivalent jobs will be sustained.
  • 382 of these will be in Mayo.
  • 760 full-time equivalent indirect jobs will be sustained.
  • 458 of these will be in Mayo.
  • €732m will be contributed to Ireland’s GDP.
  • €432m of this will be contributed in Mayo and Donegal.
  • €8.5m will be spent on community investment initiatives through the CGIF between now and 2015.