Trade and Industry written question – answered on 4th November 2004.

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Photo of Mr David Stewart Mr David Stewart PPS (Rt Hon Alistair Darling, Secretary of State), Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her (a) plans and (b) timetable for bringing gas interconnectors on-stream.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Energy & e-Commerce), Department of Trade and Industry

Government policy, as set out in the White Paper "Our energy future-creating a low carbon economy" published in February 2003, is to have a market-based approach to deliver energy supply. There are commercial plans to expand the capacity of the existing interconnector from Zeebrugge planned to be operational by Winter 2005 (first phase) and Winter 2006 (second phase). There are also commercial plans to build a new interconnector between the Netherlands and the UK, aiming to be operational 2006–07, and the Langeled pipeline is planned to join the Norwegian Continental Shelf to Britain in 2006–07. The Joint Energy Security of Supply Working Group (JESS) publishes a regular overview of security of supply indicators over the medium term to assist market participants investment decisions and the information collected includes details of forthcoming planned gas interconnector projects.

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