§ Mr. Butler
I have been asked to reply.
(a) The estimate for the capital cost to Northern Ireland of a natural gas pipeline from the Republic's terminal at Dublin to a Belfast city gate station is £23 million. This figure is based on a preliminary assessment of cost and may be revised in the light of current consultancy studies. In addition to this outlay a capital contribution of £2.5 million—at October 1983 prices—towards compression capital costs incurred by the Republic's gas authorities will be paid by Northern Ireland.
(b) The estimate of the total capital cost of providing a gas pipeline between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is £93 million.
Neither of these estimates includes related capital expenditure on transmission mains, storage, conversion, and other project costs which are regarded as being the same in each case. The figures given are at October 1983 prices.