Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted an Industrial Emissions license to Shell Ireland for its natural gas refinery at Bellanaboy in north Mayo.

This is one of the last consents required before the refinery can start operating. According to the Irish Times, the license allows for “operation of a gas refinery” and “combustion of fuels”.

The Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal will process gas from the Corrib gas field, which contains an estimated 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

It will process and dry the gas by removing liquids so that it is suitable to flow into the Bord Gáis Eireann (BGE) pipeline network. Once liquids have been removed from the gas, it can be re-compressed to a suitable pressure to enter the BGE grid.

The refinery has the capacity to process up to 10 million standard cubic meters of sales gas per day and will be operated 24 hours a day.

Shell said on Friday that the Corrib facilities are technically ready for start-up, and the company is now awaiting final regulatory approval before it begins delivering gas.

Shell expects the first gas to flow before the end of the year, RTÉ reported. The broadcaster quoted a spokesperson for Alex White, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, who said that ministerial consent is required to allow gas flow from the Corrib pipeline and the application is currently being evaluated.