The oil terminal at Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay destroyed by fire sixteen years ago is to reopen.
When the Betelgeuse tanker exploded in 1979, fifty people were killed. Since the disaster the tanks at Whiddy Island with a capacity for one million tonnes of crude oil have lain idle.
In 1991, planning permission for an upgrade was issued but it is only now that plans have been announced to recommission the terminal. The plans were announced by Minister of State at the Department of Energy Emmet Stagg, who is hopeful that there will be a commercial find of oil in the Porcupine Basin within a year.
The redevelopment will mean the creation of fifty new jobs to operate the terminal.
Fergus Cahill, Chief Executive of the Irish National Petroleum Corporation, reassures that the terminal will be operated to the highest international safety standards.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 March 1995. The reporter is Tony Connelly.