The Government needs to do all it can to facilitate major new wind-power infrastructure in the Midlands, according to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). Such a project would create substantial employment opportunities and allow Ireland to export wind energy, further strengthening the Government’s finances, according to the two bodies. Speaking ahead of the recent Energy Bridge conference in Tullamore, which outlined the benefits to Irish businesses from one of the proposed projects, CECA president Charles Wills said, “Civil engineers would encourage the Irish Government to introduce initiatives where possible to ensure that the right conditions are in place for private investment to progress with projects such as this. It's imperative Ireland now seizes opportunities that have the ability to create this level of employment in our construction sector. Civil engineering contractors would welcome an opportunity to work on such schemes providing vital infrastructure for the renewable-energy sector.” “A project like this could have major implications for the country," said CIF director general, Tom Parlon. "It would allow us to export wind energy, which could have a dramatic impact on the balance of payments in years to come and would attract greater revenue for our economy. “The implications for the construction industry would also be massive. There would be a considerable number of construction jobs generated by a project like this. You’d be taking hundreds – if not thousands – of former construction workers off the dole queues. In particular, the electrical contractors and the civil engineers would benefit – both sectors of the industry which have really felt the pressure of decreased activity. “For these reasons, we're urging the Government to do all it can to make this type of project a reality and to ensure that this much-needed infrastructure is given the green light in the near future. The CIF will be backing the principle of this project in future engagements with the Government,” Parlon concluded. Parlon’s remarks were echoed by the relevant sectors within the construction industry. President of the Electrical Contractors Association, Joe Conway, said the Association strongly supported the development of wind-energy projects in Ireland. "The initiative being undertaken should be assisted to help fast-track the delivery of such a significant project. The Irish Government should ensure that they facilitate this endeavour, which could provide thousands of jobs and help to stimulate the economy of the Midlands," he said.