Skip To The Main Content
21 February 2017

Urgent Delivery of the North South Interconnector a Key Priority for Business and Industry Leaders

NORTHERN Ireland’s leading business and industry groups have united to call for the urgent delivery of the North South Interconnector.

The coalition, including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB),  NI Chamber, CBI NI, IoD, Centre for Competitiveness and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association have described the project as a ‘catalyst for the NI Economy’ and will be delivering that message to the Public Inquiry into the project which begins in Armagh on Wednesday 22 February 2017.

The North South Interconnector will provide a critical link between the electricity grids in Northern Ireland and the Republic; reducing the cost of electricity for consumers and ensuring NI has the electricity supply it needs to meet demand in the years to come.

The organisations which represent tens of thousands of businesses across Northern Ireland will emphasise their support for the planning proposal which could see the project delivered by the end of 2020.

Roger Pollen, Head of External Affairs of FSB, Northern Ireland’s largest business organisation, explained:

“FSB fully supports the delivery of the proposed Interconnector as soon as possible.

“Strategic infrastructure projects like this are vital for Northern Ireland’s economy as a whole, but particularly to support smaller businesses, which already face a number of challenges.

“Our members have concerns over prices levels and security of supply; the downward pressure that the Interconnector will create on electricity prices will benefit all of our smaller businesses and help them to grow and succeed in the future.”

SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) is responsible for delivering planning approval for the interconnector and has welcomed the strong support from Northern Ireland business.

Robin McCormick, General Manager of SONI said it is in the interests of everyone in Northern Ireland to see the project progress:

“The North South Interconnector is without doubt the single most important infrastructure project on the island today. It is urgently required and will reduce costs for consumers north and south, by allowing the Single Electricity Market to work as efficiently as possible – which is particularly good news for business.

“The Public Inquiry is an opportunity for everyone with an interest in the project to participate in an independent planning process and we are pleased that this project, so critical to the Northern Ireland economy, has reached this stage. The hearing is timely and comes after the decision in December 2016, by the planning authority in the Republic of Ireland, to approve the southern element of the project.”

The Public Inquiry into the project is being held at the Armagh City Hotel and is anticipated to run for around three weeks. 

Read more about Roger Pollen