I note and welcome the decision today of my counterpart in Northern Ireland, Minister Mallon, to grant planning permission for the North South interconnector in Northern Ireland. This decision mirrors the decision by An Bord Pleanála in Ireland in December 2016. This is the final milestone in the development of the North South Interconnector, which is a critical piece of energy infrastructure that will bring economic benefits to all people on the island of Ireland.
This final approval paves the way for the development of this major cross-border electricity interconnection project. The project comprises a second high-capacity electricity transmission line between Ireland and Northern Ireland. A 140km long 400kV overhead line will link counties Meath and Tyrone and, when completed, will increase the efficiency of the all-island Single Electricity Market, reduce costs to electricity consumers and improve the security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland.
I will expect EirGrid to fully and openly engage with communities along the route of this project with a view to ensuring its appropriate delivery and that its benefits are understood by and shared with those living closest to the route.