Legislation to facilitate the sale of the power generation and customer supply business of State-owned Bord Gais, including its sizeable portfolio of operational and in-construction wind farms, was announced in the Dáil yesterday (Wednesday).
Minister for Communications Energy & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said the Gas Regulation Bill 2013 made it clear that the gas network infrastructure, including the gas interconnectors between Britain and Ireland, would remain in State control.
Bord Gais Energy was officially put on the market in May and the sale is expected to be confirmed by the end of this year, he added. The Government hopes to get around one billion euro as a result. The sale is part of the sell-off of State assets mandated under the terms of the Irish sovereign bailout of 2010 by the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund.
The legislation sets out how Bord Gais Energy’s networks business and energy businesses will be restructured, so that the energy division of the parent company Bord Gáis Eireann can be sold, as agreed by Government in February 2012.
“It also confirms that the networks business may not be sold by Bord Gais Energy and ensures that [the company] is compliant with EU requirements for State-owned gas network companies. The law will also facilitate the State-owned company implementing the Irish Water project,” Rabbitte confirmed.
Bord Gais Energy has around 775,000 customers in Ireland. The company is made up of an energy supply business, a gas-fired power station in Cork, a large scale portfolio of onshore wind assets and an energy supply business in Northern Ireland.
Rabbitte stressed that the Government recognised the strategic importance of keeping the gas infrastructure network in State ownership.