A project by Gas Networks Ireland's parent company Ervia has been included in the European Commission's "Project of Common Interest" list.

Ervia's project, the Cork CCS project, is seeking to use a Kinsale gas field as a potential store for carbon.

The inclusion on the European list could allow Ervia to access part of a €30 billion EU infrastructure fund.

Carbon Capture and Storage is a proven technology for capturing carbon emissions and storing them safely underground. This prevents the emissions from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

The Cork project involves assessing the feasibility of using the soon-to-be-depleted Kinsale gas field to store CO2.  

Ervia said that should the project proceed, carbon emissions will be captured from gas fired power stations, transported and injected deep below the ground at the Kinsale gas field, so that they cannot enter the atmosphere.

The company said that Kinsale has existing connections to Ireland's gas network, which increases its suitability and cost-effectiveness as a CCS facility.

Cathal Marley, Interim CEO of Ervia, said that climate change is one of our greatest and most urgent global challenges.

He said the country must take responsibility and act now to address it.  

"The inclusion of the Cork CCS Project on the PCI list is a key step forward in developing the potential of CCS technology, which has been recognised by the European Commission and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as being critical to the achievement of climate targets," Mr Marley said. 

Meanwhile, Gas Networks Ireland has raised €300m to help fund its ongoing capital investment programme. 

The money was raised through a five year bond with an interest rate of 0.164%.

The company said there was strong demand in the issuance from high calibre national and international investors. 

Proceeds from the bond will fund the continuing investment in maintaining and upgrading the country's gas network infrastructure and general corporate purposes, it added.