Former minister for the environment Denis Naughten has said Ireland should be seeking a temporary floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal amid the ongoing energy crisis caused by Russia's war on Ukraine.
His comments come as the Government said it had successfully completed a series of planned stress tests of energy supplies, aimed at preparing the State for any potential shocks over the coming months.
The Department of Environment and Communications said the second of two emergency test exercises had been carried out yesterday to gauge the State's preparedness for "a hypothetical and unlikely disruption to Ireland's gas and electricity supplies".
It said exercises to test preparedness were held regularly "to ensure that the Government, State agencies and industry are prepared to effectively manage a range of potential scenarios".
Officials said the stress tests were required to make sure the State had a "co-ordinated response to major incidents in the unlikely or rare event that they occur".
The tests took place in the National Emergency Coordination Centre in Agriculture House in Dublin. A number of departments and State bodies took part, as well as Gas Networks Ireland, EirGrid, ESB Networks, and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities.
Mr Naughten's Regional Independent Group tabled a Dáil motion on Thursday on energy security calling for a floating LNG terminal to be acquired for either Cork harbour or the Shannon Estuary, while saying the sourcing of fracked gas should be banned.
He highlighted the potential of floating LNG terminals as minister in 2017 while on a visit to Malta for a meeting of EU energy ministers.
He said at the time that there was a "huge opportunity" to develop an LNG facility "and tie it in with a gas-fired power station in Ireland, which gives us additional security in relation to our energy supplies".
The Roscommon-Galway TD said Ireland should be pursuing the option of floating terminals now, adding: "We are the only country in the European Union without storage and we are still waiting on a decision on the re-use of the Kinsale gas storage."