Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

ESB: It doesn't make financial sense to sell these two peat plants

The West Offaly Power Station and Lough Ree Power Station will be retained by the ESB.

West Offaly Power Station
West Offaly Power Station

THE ELECTRICITY SUPPLY Board (ESB) has changed its mind and decided not to sell two peat plants that were intended to go under the hammer.

In October 2013, ESB announced that it intended to sell the West Offaly Power Station and Lough Ree Power Station to generate further special dividends to go to government.

No sale 

The ESB said today that selling the peat plants would not be financially beneficial to both the ESB and government, so they have decided to retain ownership of the plants.

The sale of the two plants was to go towards a special dividend of €400 million which the government demanded be paid by the end of 2014.

They said this decision not to sell was made after a detailed analysis was carried out.

It is now ESB’s intention that the peat plants and their associated cashflows will be retained, and will be available to the company to support the additional funding requirements arising from payment of the special dividend.

“This course of action means that rather than selling the physical assets and getting upfront proceeds to enable payment of the special dividend,  the cashflows from the assets will be utilised in a different manner to yield an overall better financial result, but with the substance of the approach being the same as if the assets had been sold,” said the ESB.


In a statement today, they added that they have sold off 50% of their shareholdings in two international tolling plants, Marchwood Power Limited (UK) and Bizkaia Energia SL (Spain).

The sale of these assets has raised special dividends totalling €197 million that were paid to the government earlier this year.

Read: No decision made (yet) about the future of the Poolbeg chimneys>

Read: This is what ESB’s modern Fitzwilliam St headquarters could look like>

Read next: