Business Irish

Sunday 31 August 2014

Glen Dimplex breakthrough could create jobs bonanza

John Mulligan

Published 20/12/2012 | 05:00

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HUNDREDS of new jobs could be in the pipeline if sales of a revolutionary new energy system designed by Louth multinational Glen Dimplex take off.

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The company – whose brands include Morphy Richards, Belling and Richards – yesterday unveiled its new Quantum energy system, which it has developed at a cost of €10m over the past three years.

It says the technology, which includes super-advanced storage heaters and water systems, has been shown to deliver energy savings of as much as 30pc compared to traditional devices.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Glen Dimplex chairman and chief executive Sean O'Driscoll said the company has invested close to €40m in the past couple of years in both the Quantum technology and building new R&D centres – in Dunleer, Co Louth, and another in Portadown.

Additional manufacturing capacity has also been installed at a factory in Newry. Glen Dimplex, with €2bn in annual sales, is also currently building a new showroom in Louth and another R&D facility there.

"We're rebuilding everything we do in Ireland," he said.

"In the last two years, we commissioned and built a new research and development facility in Dunleer for renewable technologies, specifically for heatpumps," he added. "We're currently building a new international showroom to showcase our technologies to our international customers. We're also building a second R&D facility for low-carbon technologies in Dunleer."

Mr O'Driscoll told an audience yesterday, including Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, that Glen Dimplex has invested more in its worldwide business since 2007 than it has in any other five-year period in its history.

The new Quantum heating system is highly advanced. It uses off-peak electricity tariffs whenever possible to reduce costs, and will also monitor weather and usage patterns to deliver optimal heating. It could conceivably transform the way energy companies sell electricity by enabling them to more precisely determine when demand occurs in a daily cycle.

"This new technology we have will deliver a 25pc saving as against an existing conventional heating system. So, from a consumer point of view, there are huge attractions to this," said Mr O'Driscoll.

It's already being trialled in Ireland and will be installed by over 1,000 households next year. Glen Dimplex is also working with Airtricity owner Scottish & Southern Energy to install the Quantum energy system in 750 homes on the Shetland Islands.

Mr O'Driscoll said that 36pc of all primary energy consumed in Ireland is used to heat buildings or provide hot water.

"At a minimum, 30pc of that can be saved if we go about it properly," he said.

"On the basis that we import €6bn worth of fossil fuels every year, we could save €600m a year. We can do that and get tens of thousands of people back to work in retrofitting buildings."

Mr O'Driscoll said that hundreds of new jobs could be created at Glen Dimplex facilities on the island of Ireland if the Quantum technology is widely adopted here and abroad.

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