Monday 22 January 2018

GE/Gama group win Cork refinery contract

Pat Boyle

A CONSORTIUM made up of General Electric (GE), the second-largest company in the world and Turkish construction giant Gama has won the €400m contract to build a new power plant for Bord Gáis at the Whitegate refinery site in Cork.

Bord Gáis said GE will provide the electrical equipment and turbines while construction of the building will be the responsibility of Gamma.

Construction is scheduled to start in October 2007, with up to 300 people to be employed locally during the project. The plant is expected to start operating in early 2010.

The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract was awarded following a 10-month tendering process.

News of the contract comes hot on the heels of the decision by Scottish energy giant Scottish and Southern Energy to enter the Irish energy market from November 1 this year.

GE, who will be providing the gas and steam turbines, generator, boiler and other key equipment has a long track record in the business, having installed some 6,000 gas turbines worldwide.

Turkish firm GAMA is the third largest international contractor in fossil fuel projects and also has extensive experience in major infrastructure projects, including the Tynagh power plant in Ireland.

Dave Kirwan, head of strategic investments at Bord Gáis said the project will move from the planning phase to construction in a few months time.

"We will now start meeting again with the local residents and businesses to discuss our construction plans and explain how we intend to manage the project so as to cause least possible disruption in the area," he advised.

The proposed 440MW gas-fired combined-cycle plant will be located within the ConocoPhillips refinery site at Whitegate in east Cork.

Planning permission was granted by Cork County Council and arrangements for the electricity grid and gas pipeline connections are already in place.

Bord Gais entered the electricity supply business in 2001 and holds about 8pc of the total Irish market.

The company already serves almost 600,000 gas customers and with the advantage of already delivering houshold bills nationwide, it is well placed to enter themarket - to date Airtricity is the only competitor to have entered.

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