The promise of renewables is exploding globally and engineering entrepreneurs like our guest on this episode of AMPLIFIED are right at the heart of the action!

Recently named an EY International Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Jamie O’Rourke is sharing his perspective as CEO of Mainline Group, the leading utility solutions provider at the centre of the boom in solar, wind and other burgeoning green technologies. He’s touting the benefits of ongoing professional development, networking organisations and global partnerships to innovate and integrate transformational change.

Learn about Mainline’s latest projects in Ireland as well as exciting ventures based in Sweden, the UK and other countries at the forefront of innovation. Jamie also shares thoughts about the role of project management in large, complicated infrastructure schemes (such as the one Mainline has undertaken at Dublin Airport) as well as the hurdles engineering teams inevitably face in the field.

The work can be challenging and the pace of change swift, but Jamie sees renewables as a huge opportunity for engineers to be part of the solution to environmental sustainability. “If we want to go to the extreme,” he says, “engineers will save the world, one wind turbine at a time!”

Listen below or on your podcast player!

Topics we discussed include:

  • The path less travelled: How Jamie’s early experience working in newly post-apartheid South Africa thrust him into positions of responsibility and a steep learning curve.
  • Why Mainline identified renewables early on as a sector that offered tremendous upside growth and a positive way to contribute.
  • Colourful challenges faced on a massive drainage project in Cork that involved large-scale upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure and engineering solutions to accommodate multiple site challenges.
  • Encounters on projects such as an enormous 73-turbine wind farm – the materials, the logistics, weather impacts, design, technical, installation and other specialised expertise required.
  • Growth in solar panels, green hydrogen production and other cutting-edge technologies in Ireland,  whose viability and accessibility are growing “by leaps and bounds” here.
  • The complex cabling and electrical infrastructure that Mainline has engineered for the North Runway project at Dublin Airport – and other large public efforts.
  • Why project management skills, a CDP credential and the constant professional development fostered at Engineers Ireland are critical components of the successful engineer’s tool kit.
  • Jamie shares his networking strategy, which starts with looking for ways to bring value to others and a willingness to be vulnerable, reach out and ask for help.

Guest details

As Chief Executive Officer, Jamie has overseen the growth of Mainline into a key industry provider in the renewable energy and engineering sectors. Jamie’s focus is on delivering quality projects that matter, via the safest means, in support of Mainline customers across various geographies. He is also responsible for Business Development and delivery of Mainline’s ambitious growth strategy.

Jamie was appointed CEO in 2020, after nine years as Managing Director. Having started with Mainline in 2002 as Commercial Manager, on the Cork Main Drainage Project, Jamie progressed to National Operations Manager. He previously worked with Pearse Construction, and Bord Gáis, as well as spending four years with Insitu-Pipelines in South Africa as Operations Manager. Jamie holds Bachelor Degrees in Mathematics and Civil Engineering from Trinity College Dublin and is a Member of Engineers Ireland, as well as a Deloitte Best Managed Company CEO, and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.

Operating in Ireland, the UK and Scandinavia, Mainline provides a wide range of services from the Design & Build of Sub-stations, to construction of Airside Aviation Infrastructure, to Turn-key Wind & Solar Energy Solutions.

Mainline has a robust corporate management structure, underpinned by ISO 45001, 14001, 9001 and cyber essentials accreditations as well as the Platinum Member Deloitte Best Managed Company status.

Contact details

More information

Looking for ways to explore or advance a career in the field of engineering? Visit Engineers Ireland to learn more about the many programmes and resources on offer.

Transcription Text

For your convenience, here is a 90% accurate automated transcript of the podcast.

Dusty Rhodes  0:02  
Right now on amplified the engineers journal podcast, we meet the CEO of mainline group, Jamie O'Rourke,

Jamie O'Rourke  0:08  
engineers take concepts, and they bring them to reality that can be putting pipelines in the ground connecting up new houses, or at the other end of the scale space travel. That's what engineers do.

Dusty Rhodes  0:41  
Hello, there, my name is Dusty Rhodes and you're welcome to the engineers Ireland podcast where we speak with our community of creative professionals across the country, about how engineers are delivering sustainable solutions for society both now and in the future to come. Today, we're chatting with the CEO of mainline group who have had huge success in the design and build of substations, aviation, infrastructure and renewable energy among many, many other projects. Before joining mainline, our guest has worked everywhere from Pierce construction and board Ghosh to institchu. Pa pipelines in South Africa and is currently an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalists. It is a pleasure to welcome the CEO of mainline group, Jamie O'Rourke. How are you?

Jamie O'Rourke  1:24  
I'm great dusty. Great to be here. Thank you.

Dusty Rhodes  1:27  
It's always great to hear about somebody's career abroad. How did you end up in South Africa?

Jamie O'Rourke  1:34  
Yeah, back back in the late 90s. After graduating from college, I worked with Pierce contracting for a couple of years, I suppose the opportunity deechi feet, like a lot of people after a year or two, maybe out of college or some people go direct from college after graduating as a civil engineer and Trinity in 95. Seems like a long time ago. Now, as I said, it did a year and a half, nearly two years with peers. And then it was couple of my friends heading to Australia and another friend of mine had got a job offer in South Africa. And we decided to go for the path less traveled. And then when I went, got a job within secure pipelines, pretty much straightaway small Irish expat community down there. I was there for nearly four years had a great time. It was it was an eye opening experience, to put it mildly, South African, the late 90s, just coming out of apartheid, and all of that kind of stuff. So it was a very exciting place to be and you've got in that kind of an environment, you've got responsibility trust upon you. You know, I was relatively young. And early in my career. And I learned a huge amount. One of my first mentors, I suppose, throughout my career place was was the CEO down there of in situ pipelines. And I ended up managing a lot of the commercial and contractual operational aspects of the business for him and got a got a great and broad experience.

Dusty Rhodes  2:50  
So what was the project that you're working on? What was the actual work? It was

Jamie O'Rourke  2:54  
there was varying projects, many of them involved bringing water and sewerage infrastructure to allow the new townships that were being built, as part of you know, I suppose the investment into many areas that had been deprived of investment for for many years prior to that. So it was very much infrastructural, your pipeline, infrastructure, water and sewer, obviously, to have the basic, I suppose human needs to have those kinds of facilities. And yeah, I met a lot of interesting people and had a had a great time learnt a lot down there. And I suppose it came to a point in in late kind of 99 and into 2000, where I had an opportunity to stay under long term or, you know, maybe come back home and the drive home kind of pulled me back a bit and ended up in court working with Borg, gosh, initially, love that had a great time there, great organization. And ultimately, then it got an opportunity to go back into the contracting side of it probably, which is kind of more the side of of construction, that I'm probably more comfortable and more natural. In 2000. I moved to cork and I've been here since then I started working very, very shortly after board, gosh, in 2002, started working with a company called Morrison. And ultimately, that company is now mainline after we affected a management buyout in 2011.

Dusty Rhodes  4:12  
So listen, tell me about mainline engineering them. Yeah. So

Jamie O'Rourke  4:15  
we established in 1999. Originally, before I got involved, a company was set up and worked primarily in the telecoms industry and grew into the UK. Very shortly after that, it was bought out by by Morris and the company I mentioned earlier, and I got involved in the commercial side on on a number of projects, mostly on the water side, but they branched into the water side of the business and we were working on the current main drainage project back in the kind of 2002 to 2006 timeline and ultimately we retained that water and I suppose expertise and the telecom expertise and then we've also branched subsequently into the electrical side the MV HV medium voltage, high voltage side of electrical infrastructure that happened in 2015 when we bought a small power business. At the time, obviously, renewables was gathering momentum. And it's an area we wanted to get into. So we identified that as an opportunity many years ago. And we worked hard at this. And we've built ourselves up now to be one of the main players in that MV HV space in Ireland. And indeed, we've had some international success as well.

Dusty Rhodes  5:20  
So just to give us an indication of the size of the company, roughly, what's the turnover and how many people are working for you?

Jamie O'Rourke  5:25  
Yes, we'd have a turnover in excess of about 30 million per annum, and direct staff of inaccessible 100 100 people. And then you'd have subcontractors and indirect people employed as well.

Dusty Rhodes  5:37  
When you first started working with mainline one of your first big jobs was the cork main drainage project, the one from 2002. What are your own memories of that job?

Jamie O'Rourke  5:47  
That was a very challenging job. Because you've got a very high tide level water level, it's naturally high in Cork. And this was in the the island element of cork, if you're familiar with the geography of Cork city. So the river splits and creates a little island in the middle. And we we were doing one half of that island and putting all of the again similar to my time in South Africa, we were putting upgrading the water and sewer infrastructure because prior to that, a lot of the sewer, which I believe it went straight into the river. So there was a major investment infrastructurally to put in large pipes that intercepted all of those kind of flows into the river and took them off down to little island to a new treatment plant aspect we were doing was pretty much gathering it from the houses intercepting it and then feeding it into those those big outfile sewers. You know, to give you an example, one of the challenging elements of that was we had to go down over Plunkett Street, which again, if you're familiar with it is a fairly narrow street in Cork busy pedestrian street, three and four storey high buildings, eight to 10 meters apart, and we had to put in a six meter deep pipe and you know, originally there was a plan to open quarters and we had some issues, the structures in that part of the car, the buildings are very old. Some of them are you know, less structurally sound and others. So you had all of those kinds of challenges and to manage so we ultimately engineered a solution, you know, where we what we call directionally drilled a large diameter two foot diameter 600 mil diameter pipe, and we drilled sank shafts intermittently along the along Oliver Plunkett Street and drilled from shaft to shaft. So, we didn't have to excavate that had the benefit of reducing I suppose the disturbances to you know, the level of disruption to the local business, etc. So that's one example. Another one was the original, an old outfall sewers, which are going back to Victorian times, you know, we had to uncover those and access them and and there's complications around that from breathing apparatus and everything else health and safety aspects. And then we had to go in and kind of repair those old, very old Victorian old fall sores as well. Some aspects of that that was on the Grand Parade again, a much wider street, but a very busy street at the same time. So they're kind of some of the some of the memories I have another one was we thank you shaft, it's all coming back to me now. We thank you shaft again from Microtonic on Washington Street, and we uncovered some remains of Viking infrastructure, housing or whatever. I forget the particulars. Now, it seems like no, I know the detail a bit better to stage but we have to let the archaeologists in for for several weeks to do their thing. It's all coming back. I'm gonna ask that question in a while.

Dusty Rhodes  8:27  
Nowadays, of course, mainline is growing in the UK, as you said, it went in fairly quick and more recently into the Swedish market. What Why Sweden,

Jamie O'Rourke  8:37  
I suppose, you know, a lot a lot of companies when they when they go international, they follow clients, people they've you know, and businesses, they've got relationships with, it's all about relationships, we had an opportunity to price a large project in Sweden with a with an existing client. We did that. And I suppose we got in early, we looked at all of the different options, we tried to value engineer the solution as part of their wider project scope. How could we integrate what we were delivering with other parts of the project they had to they had to deliver an example would be around the roads, were being built by the civils contractor, and we then have to excavate a trench and lay our cable we had up to 90 kilometers of electrical cable to install adjacent to the road, you need special, specific quality of backfill material. And if we could, you know if that material was processed as part of the road construction, it would reduce the cost for us as an example in delivery of our project. And so we looked at the doors kind of aspects, and you know, how we could work together with the client to deliver the most economically advantageous solution quite often and it's very much part of our strategies and organization. We try to sit down with the clients as early as possible, understand the big picture and where we can bring value and maybe make savings if if x y and Zed are done, you know out in advance of our works as an example. So yeah, so we got the opportunity And we talked about we delivered a 73, turbine wind farm. And the electrical aspect of it now I should say, the geographical area, just to give you a sense of it was was nearly the size, a county load, that the logistics of getting around and moving material around and getting huge volumes of cable to the right parts of site and all of that kind of stuff. And then you throw in the added complication of you know, potentially waking up in the morning, and there's two meters of snow in front of you, you know, so you have all of those things, and we're very good local partner as well, you know, with that kind of local weather knowledge and know how, because a lot of the civil aspect of our, you know, the digging of the trench, we got a local partner on board to deliver that element for us. And then we brought the design and the technical and installation of the cable expertise. So yeah, it's all about getting the right people around the table and getting the right partners in delivering a project.

Dusty Rhodes  10:47  
There's a lot of talk in Ireland about wind energy, is it the same in Sweden? Are they are they even more into it? There?

Jamie O'Rourke  10:54  
They are, is the simple answer. I suppose there's huge focus now internationally on on renewable energy generation, I suppose the momentum that was gathering prior to the war in Ukraine, and I suppose if there is one silver lining to that cloud, is that it is increased focus on renewable renewables and renewable generation to obviously reduce our dependence on gas and simple farms. I was looking at a report there yesterday and 40% of our electricity production in recent years was was reliant on gas. Clearly, we've got an exposure there, we all know. So yes, Sweden is hugely focused on renewables, again, no different to Ireland, they're very focused on the, the offshore opportunities there as well. And in northern Sweden, where we work, they've got huge areas of land with a strong electrical infrastructure. And by that, I mean, the electrical infrastructure that is required to take the power that is generated in a wind farm and bring it into the national and international grid. Because a lot of the time where the wind is or where the power is generated, and where the wind is blowing isn't where it has the greatest need no different to Ireland, the wind blows more on the West Coast, and it doesn't east coast. But power is needed more so on the east coast. So you have to have that electrical infrastructure to transfer the energy around the country. And Sweden has that they've got a very good electrical infrastructure Ireland has, you know, we've a lot of work to do on that. And, you know, it's it's in hand, but plenty more still to be done on that.

Dusty Rhodes  12:23  
What is it that you've seen, the Swedes do that we could learn here in Ireland,

Jamie O'Rourke  12:27  
I suppose one of the one of the main challenges that a lot of people talk about in Ireland is the timeline it takes to get a project from concept to completion. And a lot of that is around the planning process on the offshore side does talk about, you know, the foreshore license aspects, etc. And that needs to be streamlined in Sweden, it is more streamlined. Now. They also have some other challenges. And they're actively looking at some challenges in that regard. And they're actively looking to address those. They've got their neighbors next door in Norway, who are probably, you know, one of the most advanced in the renewables space, I suppose. And, you know, they see the benefit. It's in very high in the public persona, shall we say,

Dusty Rhodes  13:10  
when it comes to renewable energy, wind is the one that we hear about the most. But what are the other areas of sustainable energy that are available and the perhaps we should consider

Jamie O'Rourke  13:21  
solar is a big one, Ireland has only just recently, I suppose, put the support mechanism in place to incentivize the construction of solar farms on an industrial scale, raise one auction and raise to auction results that have happened. Just to explain that raise is the Renewable Energy Support Scheme. It's the program basically, of supports that the government have in place for both wind and solar, because they still need to be subsidized to an extent by by doing that, by subsidizing those, you know, solar projects and wind projects, they become ultimately self sufficient, because you bring the expertise when the expertise are local, and they're there and the market is significant in volume and size and scale, price of materials and everything come down. And you ultimately get to a point, which is coming very quickly. Now, given the cost of electricity is a result of external forces that we spoke about earlier. You know, you get to that balancing point where they will need to be subsidized. But initially, all of these developing technologies need to be subsidized to make them commercially viable. And it's no different to the offshore side of it as well, because there's huge investments involved but the benefits once they're up and running, and the markets mature, in order just enormous. One of

Dusty Rhodes  14:33  
the things about engineering is seeing a challenge and coming up with a solution overcoming it and making it a reality. I hear the word solar power, and I hear the words Ireland and I think that's got to be a challenge.

Jamie O'Rourke  14:48  
Well, I suppose the panels are getting very technically advanced. So nowadays, they even have a double sided panels to pick up the light on the underside, would you believe so? You've done aspects to I suppose consider And if you look at the southern part of Ireland, we get about 1000 sun hours per annum, which is very similar to large parts of Europe, you know, solar, the solar in Scotland. Estonia is one of the international markets we're looking at. It's in its early stages, and they've been through their first kind of auction to support solar. You know, you think of Estonia, you don't necessarily think solar eyler either sorry. But the technology and I suppose the ability of the panels to generate electricity is it's coming on in leaps and bounds. So yeah, it's it's very much a viable option in the Irish market. Other ones, you asked me what other areas that there are, one of the big issues with renewables is the fact that you know, when the wind blows, you create electricity when it doesn't blow, you know, there's no electricity being generated. And and sometimes that is surplus to requirements and doesn't get used. Green hydrogen is an area where, you know, engineering can play a huge part in has, if we can harness that excess wind, when it's blowing, use it to create hydrogen that can then be stored and used to generate electricity. When the wind isn't blowing, you've got your 24 hour cycle of electricity generation covered us. Where does engineering fit into all of this, you know, we're saving the world, one wind turbine at a time or one solar panel at a time. So, you know, you can put that kind of extent of spin on it, because climate change is a huge issue. And, you know, Ireland has a target of generating 80% of its electricity from renewables by 2030. You know, we've a good way to go to get there, we can do it. You know, the t shirt said recently, that wind could be our oil, you know, if we can harness the wind off the west coast here, I'm sitting here on the west coast as I talk to you, and it's blowing hard in the middle of middle of July. So there's huge opportunity out there and engineers will be part of that solution. And, you know, if we want to go to the extreme engineers will, will save the world one one wind turbine at a time.

Dusty Rhodes  16:59  
Moving away from renewable energy, one of main lines of recent projects was the new North runway at Dublin Airport. Now, a lot of people may be familiar in this business with road or motorway construction runways kind of different. What What have you discovered in this project?

Jamie O'Rourke  17:16  
Yeah, well, I suppose we've we've worked over many years with the DA. And we've done a lot of projects in Dublin, cork, and Shannon airports, we deal primarily in the electrical infrastructure, the runway lights, the taxiway signage, the navigation aids, that helped the planes land, all of that kind of stuff. The particular scope that we delivered on the north runway was into the main contractor who constructed the runway and a lot of the infrastructure, the docks, etc, we would pull the cables in, and we delivered to substations as well to power all of that infrastructure. So it's very different to a road in this road has very, as no electrical infrastructure, better street lights, or whatever. So the electrical infrastructure here is obviously the critical aspects of the overall project from a safety perspective, and the navigation aids that go with that to help the planes land, you know, and approach the runway, at the correct altitude, etc, hugely different to erode,

Dusty Rhodes  18:14  
to give us an idea of the scale of it. And also, the concentration of runway may be three, three kilometers long, 3000 meters

Jamie O'Rourke  18:24  
3.3 3.3. And in the case of the North runway, I think there would have been over 2000 runway lights as an example. You know, you've got communications, as well as the electrical infrastructure, you've got the fiber communication infrastructure, as well, we had hundreds of kilometers of electric cable and fiber, you've got the primary cable, which is the higher voltage stuff, you've got the secondary cable, which is the lower voltage stuff, you know, going from each individual light back to the primary cable source, I'm getting into the technical aspects a little bit, which I should never do, because I'm a civil engineer, and I'm not an electrical engineer, so I could put my foot in it literally, but, you know, huge volumes of cabling infrastructure to connect everything up. And you're obviously in a runway as well, you have to have significant levels of redundancy for light bulb goes off, can't take them all out clearly. You know, that's that's a fairly basic example. But you get the point, as

Dusty Rhodes  19:18  
well as the scale of it in such a small area while you're doing it. Number one is you're working in a very highly secure area and then number two, there must be a billion factors outside of your control, how do you manage as an engineer with such a fluid situation?

Jamie O'Rourke  19:36  
Yeah, very good question. And the project management aspect of engineering is a very important part of delivering any project. And if you have a clear, sufficiently detailed program resource to properly detailing the interfaces that you have with other contractors, they have to hand over times from you know, the dissection of the runway is going to be built and and finished and it can be handed over to mainline at a particular point in time. You know, program management is very much a critical part of minimizing the the margin for error issue on a project. When programs aren't managed properly, then you've got, then you've got big problems. You know, it's very much the program management aspect of it.

Dusty Rhodes  20:21  
Now away from a particular project, one of the things we talk about on the podcast is CPD accredited employer with engineers, Ireland, how important do you feel CPD is to an engineers career?

Jamie O'Rourke  20:32  
Well, I mean, I'll go a bit more general, we should all be looking to improve. We were saying in mainline, what got us here won't get us there, in the sense that, you know, we're learning every day, and we can't keep doing the same thing. You've we've all got to evolve and engineers, no different. You know, we've a program and the engineers, Ireland, when we were delighted to be part of it, it's very important that the people continuously strive. And it's an important part of our strategies and organization. So all of our people, it's something we look for and identify in our people, they've got to want to improve, our environments are changing all the time, we've all got to improve, we've all got to continuously look to improve the framework that we have with engineers, Ireland, it's engineer specific, it brings, I suppose, a lot of the moving parts of, you know, engineering, project management, all of that kind of stuff together, very much focused on project delivery. You know, so we find it very beneficial for for mainline Yeah.

Dusty Rhodes  21:28  
Now it's one thing you sitting at the top of mainline Canada, our people this and our people that everybody should learn. What about you, yourself, what's one of the most useful things that you have gotten from being an engineers, Ireland,

Jamie O'Rourke  21:41  
for me, there are very few problems in this world that somebody hasn't solved already, or had to face and you know, has, has thought about all of the options. And throughout my career, the benefit of networking, I can't, you know, overemphasize it enough. And you know, the, the network within engineers, Ireland, you can pick up the phone, and people are always willing to help I find, you know, and somebody has been there and done it. And that's the important thing to remember, you're not you're never, you're never facing it alone. And the strength of the network, and the level of advice and expertise within that network is invaluable. And then this comes down to the very basic, you know, mental health issues, or any of those kinds of things, it all comes down to that level, I'm not just talking about engineering issues. There's always somebody out there who's, who's who's been through what you're going through. And there's a solution out there. And it's very important to remember that,

Dusty Rhodes  22:33  
let me get your view on networking, because networking puzzled me for such a long time. And you may not believe this, but I'm a kind of a shy person. I mean, I picked radio as a career for a reason, because I'm sitting in a room on my own speaking to imaginary people, most of it, so it's perfect. But when it comes to, you know, kind of having to go into a room with there's lots of people that I don't know, or at a conference or something like that, I literally can I hate it. Alright. But I discovered for me, and this is my definition of networking is it's not who you know, it's who you've met. And it's simple as I was up this thing, and that fella was there. And I went up, and I said, Hello, Patti. How are you doing? Yeah, Graham, I am You are lovely to see it goodbye. And it could literally be as short as four minutes. But somewhere in the future, when you need to interact with that person, then you can say I met you briefly at such and such. That's what networking is to me. How would you describe it, for sure.

Jamie O'Rourke  23:30  
You walk into a room and you don't know anybody there. And if you know one person, quite often you tend to gravitate to that person, and you've got to be disciplined and go, alright, I'll talk to three people before I get to that person and the benefit, you never know the benefit of networking, at the point in time that you're doing it, it will become apparent down the road. Similarly, if you go into any those kinds of opportunities are networking opportunities with the mindset of what can I do to help others in the first instance? Right? And, you know, they might have a problem that I can I can solve, or I can, I know the man you can talk to? And you might you might put two other people together? Because if you if you go in with the opposite attitude of what am I going to get out of this, you'll get less. So for me that mindset, and if you win with that people open up and also it's about genuine interaction. You know, if you're, if you've got a problem, and you say, look, I've got a problem. Do you know anybody who could help me people are willing to help. You know, sometimes you put people up on a pedestal and you think that might be too busy or to this or to that people will make the time to help and they just need to be asked a lot of time Never be afraid to ask anybody for help and show a vulnerability. You know, that's genuine and if you're if you're genuine, you know, networking will just happen naturally for you.

Dusty Rhodes  24:43  
That is a superb piece of advice to go in to see how can I help other people that amazing because it just it's like the universe just it just pays you off for doing that. Speaking of professional development, we're recording this before. The EY Entrepreneur of the Year is announced in November but you are final list, I think, what a brilliant way of developing your career and to get into this, do you think the whole process of this award is adding to your own professional development?

Jamie O'Rourke  25:11  
Yes, is the short answer. And I'll tell you why. And it's, it's interesting. You've asked this question after the networking question, I've been at a couple of the events, and the power of that network is, its immense. And one aspect of the program is, you go away for a week on the EY entrepreneur retreat, and you're in an environment with the other 24 finalists, 25 finalists this year, you're in that environment, but you also have many of the past up to up to 100 of the past finalists, you know, collectively, when you put that room together, you know, most problems have been experienced. So if you have a problem, and you're looking for, you know, the solution, it's there, it's in the room, and then the process that you that you go through, and, you know, there's a there's an interview process with the judges and everything else. And, you know, these are highly experienced people, very successful people. And, you know, they're asking questions, they're looking at your business. And then there's other aspects of the dy support as well around strategy development of your business. So it's very much a two way street. And the benefits are, you know, they're significant.

Dusty Rhodes  26:18  
Let me ask you, on a scale of one to 10, how much is this process pushing you

Jamie O'Rourke  26:24  
on a scale of one to 10? How much is it pushing me, it's pushing me outside of my comfort zone, you know, which is always good. You know, I wouldn't necessarily be up in front of the microphone too often, you know, doing this kind of stuff. And there'll be, you know, there'll be a television aspect to the finals, and all of that kind of stuff, which again, I wouldn't necessarily be overly familiar with. And then, you know, like I said, I've got to sit down in front of a panel of very successful, very experienced judges. And, you know, I'll be grilled about our business, and our strategy and everything else. So it's right up there in the, you know, the the eight or nine anyway,

Dusty Rhodes  27:01  
finally, Jamie, tell me what's in your head at the moment for the future for yourself and for mainland.

Jamie O'Rourke  27:07  
I mentioned earlier, you know, we're currently at about 20 million turnover, we want to grow the business to in excess of 100 million turnover in the in the medium term. And I mean, three to five years in the, in the medium term, we've got a lot of the blocks in place for that. We've got a very good team. And we've got a very strong senior management team. So from a strategy perspective, and I suppose a numbers perspective, that's where we want to go, renewables is a huge part of that focus. And solar now is very much taking off in the Irish market. Wind has always been there, and is now again, very much part of our focus offshore is coming online, late 23, maybe into 2024. So therefore, the route, the timeline would very much I suppose we're engaged with the players who are delivering those clients or delivering those projects. So you don't start at an early stage. You've got other projects around the grid strengthening ESB are a very important client of ours. And the strengthening of the infrastructure within Ireland to be able to deliver and transport that power around the country is a huge part of the huge piece of the jigsaw to us, hitting our 2030 target of 80%. You know, renewably generated power. There are projects as well that fit into that grid strengthening mix around the interconnection of Ireland to the UK, with the green link, which is a power a power cable, going from Wexford to Wales. You've got the Celtic interconnector that's coming in from France and hitting the cork Waterford border, there's a huge drive and focus on renewables and grid strengthening. And we see that very much as part of our growth strategy. We'd like to think we're very well positioned to deliver it.

Dusty Rhodes  28:52  
Well, I wish you the very best of luck with all of that. And I'd like to thank you today for giving me being so insightful and open as well with us. Jamie O'Rourke, thank you for joining us on the podcast.

Jamie O'Rourke  29:04  
Thank you very much dusty, it was a pleasure.

Dusty Rhodes  29:06  
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