15th June 2012 SSE plc has entered in to agreement with Endesa Generacion SA, to acquire Endesa Ireland Limited in an acquisition and investment package totalling €488 million. The investment includes a 460MW CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) which has recently entered construction at Great Island, Co. Wexford, and is expected to be commissioned in 2014. This modern and efficient gas-fired power plant will replace the existing 240MW fuel oil unit at the site, significantly reducing carbon emissions in Ireland.
The acquisition also includes 208MW of operational flexible plants at Tawnaghmore in Co. Mayo and Rhode in Co. Offaly and a number of further development options including planning permission for a CCGT at the existing 620MW Tarbert plant in Co. Kerry.
Since its entry in to the Irish market in 2008, following the acquisition of Airtricity, SSE has created more than 100 new full time positions each year and with its continued business success, plans to recruit a further 100 over the coming year to support its expanding utility business. This includes the businesses:
• Airtricity, Ireland’s fastest-growing and greenest supplier of energy and related energy services;
• Airtricity Utility Solutions Ireland’s largest provider of street lighting services;
• SSE Renewables, Ireland’s largest renewable energy developer; and
• SSE Generation, the largest operator of renewable energy generation in Ireland.
This will bring total employment at SSE’s businesses in Ireland to over 900 full time employees.
It is also expected that a further 600 jobs will be created over the next two years through construction works associated with SSE energy projects including Great Island and over 100MWs of new renewable energy wind farms.
The acquisition is subject to, amongst other things, approval by the Irish Competition Authority and SSE expects to complete the purchase later this summer.
Welcoming the announcement, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said:
“I welcome today’s investment announcement by SSE as a great vote of confidence in Ireland and our economy, and for the new jobs that will be created in the coming years. Secure energy supply is crucial for future investment and jobs and also presents other significant economic opportunities for Ireland, particularly in the export of renewable power."
Gregor Alexander, Finance Director of SSE and its Lead Director for Ireland, said:
“Shortly after the acquisition of Airtricity in 2008 the Taoiseach very kindly made the time to officiate at the launch of our renewable business in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Today, I thank him again for his continued support at this significant milestone for SSE’s business in Ireland and for his continued focus on the importance of competitive, secure and sustainable energy and its role in attracting investment to Ireland.
“Today’s announcement is part of SSE’s long-term commitment to Ireland, serving customers, employing people, and providing a sustainable, secure and competitive supply of energy to power our rapidly growing energy supply business, Airtricity.
“The completion of this acquisition and that of Phoenix Supply announced in May will make SSE the third largest energy company across the island with 750,000 customers. Furthermore, it will take our total investment into the future of Irish energy to over €1.7 billion in the last five years, of which half relates to the period since Airtricity became part of SSE in 2008.
“Adding to SSE’s existing assets, this acquisition is a positive step forward in delivering a balanced generation and supply business in Ireland and is a vote of confidence in the Irish economy.”