The Government has approved a €1 billion capital investment programme for the ESB. Speaking at the UCD Engineering Graduates Association’s Annual Spring Lecture in the UCD Clinton Auditorium this evening (April 3), Minister for Energy, Communications and Human Resources Pat Rabbitte said most of the expenditure would be spent on transmission and distribution electricity network expenditure. He added that Ireland needed capital investment, especially in energy infrastructure, in order to encourage the 'green shoots' of economic recovery. "As we see continued improvement in the macro economy expected through 2014 into the coming years, it's important to keep a strong focus on capital investment, which will support jobs and inward investment in Ireland," said Rabbitte. "The ESB's investment plan is a fine example of infrastructure investment which is additional to Exchequer spending."

Capital Investment needed for infrastructure works

ESB intends to invest in its core network infrastructure programme, including the planned replacement and refurbishment of its assets. This, said Rabbitte, would ensure that safety standards would be improved, that energy supply would be secured and that the organisation's assets would be as environmentally friendly as possible. Along with investing in power generation in Ireland, ESB also plans to invest in England this year. In order to strengthen the organisation's presence in the UK market, it will initiate plant overhaul and refurbishment schemes, as well as investing in new projects. 'The days of Ireland being an 'energy island' are over. The future is integration and connectivity," he added, singling out the Eirgrid Interconnector as as example of Irish engineering that was equal to any energy project in the world.