'Green IFSC' business plan is finally ready for vetting
Stance of new Government uncertain as project promoters seek support
Published 21/05/2011 | 05:00
A detailed business plan for the so-called 'Green IFSC' is scheduled to go to state agencies, like the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, for review next week, the Irish Independent understands.
Discussions are also ongoing about a new name and brand for the project, with one suggestion being Green Global Interchange. The project has the potential to create 7,000 jobs over five years, former Taoiseach Brian Cowen claimed in January.
The promoters of the project are seeking the support of the new administration.
They already have approval in principle for the idea from the last cabinet, but the stance of Fine Gael and Labour is less certain.
The project would involve attracting a 'cluster' of green firms to the IFSC and other areas using a combination of taxation incentives and education linkages.
A number of investors have already held discussions with the steering group behind the project, it is understood.
The idea first emerged publicly two years ago and a feasibility study was done be management consultants McKinsey.
The project is also being supported by the Clearing House Group, the committee that represents IFSC firms and overseas investors.
A launch of the project, possibly by Taoiseach Enda Kenny or Finance Minister Michael Noonan could happen in September. No further tax incentives are needed in this December's Budget, sources suggest.
Speaking in January, Mr Cowen said the centre could see Ireland hosting an international carbon standard and an associated international voluntary offset registry.
He said the Government had agreed "in principle" to provide seed funding of €6.8m over three years to develop the plan.
The business plan was scheduled to go to the state agencies at the end of March, but it is believed the political instability around that period made this more difficult.
Earlier in the year, Fine Gael and the IDA both said they were sympathetic to the plan.
Ireland currently has several private sector deals that fall into the green energy area.
For example, the waste and energy group NTR and BlackRock, the US-based largest money manager in the world, are planning to set up an alternative energy fund together, with NTR selecting the investment targets.