The ‘Corrib Development Biodiversity Action Plan 2014 – 2019’, describes the extensive biodiversity conservation and rehabilitation measures that are being implemented by SEPIL and its contractors since 2001 to protect and enhance the local environment, during construction of the Corrib gas project in north-west Mayo.

Much of Co. Mayo is designated for nature conservation under Irish and European legislation and rigorous environmental monitoring has been undertaken throughout the construction of the project.

Speaking at the launch of the action plan, Michael Crothers, Managing Director for SEPIL said: “The launch of the ‘Corrib Development Biodiversity Action Plan’ is a statement of commitment from Shell. It highlights the extensive work by the environmental team in partnership with our contractors on the Corrib gas project and outlines how SEPIL will continue to respect the environment as we move into operation.”

Corrib is unique within an Irish environmental context due to the construction phase of the project taking longer than originally planned. Consequently, a large amount of habitat and species data has been collected over a significantly longer period of time than would normally be the case.

“Biodiversity is vital for sustaining ecosystems and this action plan explains how biodiversity has been maintained and enhanced in Erris,” said Mr Crothers. “The valuable research and best practices in the action plan will have a positive impact and I hope that other construction projects will look towards Corrib as a case study in environmental excellence”.

The action plan sets out 12 objectives and targets for a five year period, bringing it well into the operational phase of the development. This fact was highlighted by Rupert Thomas, Vice President for Environment at Shell who launched the Corrib Development Biodiversity Acton Plan.

“Protecting the environment is a hugely important factor for Shell. That’s why the ongoing management of impact on the local environment has been integrated into the day to day running of the Corrib gas project including the design of the project facilities”.

“Shell’s approach to the management of the environment does not stop at the conclusion of the construction phase; rather it continues into the operations phase. I very much welcome the publication of this action plan as it confirms Shell’s obligation to ensure environmental objectives are met,” concluded Rupert.

Notes to Editors:

1. The Corrib Gas Partners are Shell E&P Ireland Limited (45% and operators), Statoil Exploration Ireland Limited (36.5%) and Vermilion Energy Ireland Limited (18.5%).

2. The Corrib gas field contains an estimated 1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

3. At peak production, Corrib has the potential to meet up to 60% of Ireland’s gas needs.

4. Shell has gathered a significant amount of data since 2001. The database has a particular focus on habitats and species including vegetation, birds, otters and marine mammals.

5. The objectives of the Biodiversity Action Plan include:

  • To protect habitats and species by means of appropriate mitigation measures during construction and operation
  • To monitor habitats and species before, during and following construction
  • To reinstate habitats affected by the construction of the project
  • During reinstatement, to enhance local biodiversity on lands in the stewardship of Shell and elsewhere where feasible
  • To maintain species numbers and diversity within, and in the vicinity of, the footprint of the development
  • To put mechanisms in place to control invasive species in reinstated habitats
  • To achieve sustainability in day-to-day project activities
  • To provide species records and habitat quadrat data to the national biodiversity data base

6. Download the Corrib Development Biodiversity Action Plan 2014 – 2019.