Friday 17 January 2020

ESB plans to sell off power stations

Lough Ree Power in Lanesborough, Co Longford
Lough Ree Power in Lanesborough, Co Longford

Colm Kelpie

THE ESB is to sell two peat-burning power stations in the midlands under government plans to raise €400m by selling power generation assets.

West Offaly Power in Shannonbridge, Co Offaly and Lough Ree Power in Lanesborough, Co Longford, are expected to be sold by the middle of next year.

The ESB said it would be proposing to prospective buyers that the plants would continue to be operated along with the existing 82 staff, thereby ensuring jobs were protected.

The sale is part of a wider disposal of state assets ordered by the troika.

Fianna Fail expressed concern at the sale, claiming the Government had reneged on its commitment that "no ESB power generating facility on this island would be sold".

Environment spokesman Barry Cowen said: "As recently as May of this year, the Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin told the Dail that, 'with regard to the ESB, there will be no sale of any power-generating capacity in the Republic or the island of Ireland'. What has happened to that commitment?

"These plants were built in 2005 and 2006 and it was envisaged they would have a lifespan of at least 25 years. We need to ensure that they are not being sold off now for a quick fix at the expense of the staff and the country's longer term interests."

In a statement, the ESB said: "West Offaly Power and Lough Ree Power have and will continue to play a major role in the electricity industry."

Irish Independent

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