‘South Down needs natural gas’ – Hazzard

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Sunday, November 11th, 2012
South Down Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has expressed his disappointment that there are no plans to extend natural gas into all areas of South Down. Speaking to Newry Times, Hazzard said, “In a written question to the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Development Arlene Foster asking about extending natural gas into South Down the Minister has replied that her Department is in contact with the energy regulator about extending it into towns such as Downpatrick and Ballynahinch.” ‘While this would be welcome I am concerned that other towns such as Rathfriland, Warrenpoint, Kilkeel and Newcastle as well as rural area would lose out. This again puts the rural dweller at a disadvantage as they don’t have a choice of energy source leaving them with electricity as the only option.” “It is important that rural dwellers in South Down are afforded the same choices as every other area and I am calling on the Minister to work with the gas companies to entice them into the area. He added, “If South Down is to compete with other areas in attracting inward then it needs to be able to provide a choice of energy sources including the cheaper natural gas. “I will continue to lobby the gas companies and I would also be calling on members of the public commerce industry to support the lobby in order to provide the residents and business communities of South Down with natural gas.”
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