A US energy company has announced details of a project to ship more than €300 million worth of natural gas per year from its gas field in Texas to Cork Harbour, to be piped into the national grid.

NextDecade says it plans to supply one third of Ireland's natural gas requirements once the project is operational.

Natural gas supplies around a quarter of Ireland's energy requirements.

Most of that gas comes from the Corrib gas field and from the depleting reserves in the Kinsale field, but around 40% of it is imported through interconnectors.

NextDecade has substantial wells in the Rio Grande valley in south Texas.

The company is rolling out projects to ship liquefied natural gas or LNG all over the world, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Cork to develop a facility near Whitegate in Cork Harbour.

Senior executives from NextDecade are in Cork today to brief stakeholders.

The company plans to ship more than €300 million worth of LNG to Cork every year, where it will be regassified on board another tanker permanently moored in Cork Harbour.

From there it will be pumped into the national grid or stored in the Kinsale field.

NextDecade says the supply will ensure greater energy security for Ireland and will create a more competitive price environment.