Sale of Bord Gáis Energy to be considered by Cabinet today
Amendments to Gas Regulation Bill 2013 will be considered in the Seanad in November
Under the agreement with the troika, half of the proceeds from the sale can be directed towards stimulus projects. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The Cabinet will today be asked to approve amendments to the legislation that will pave the way for the sale of Bord Gáis’s energy business by the end of the year.
Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte will bring the amendments, which he says are mainly technical in nature, to today’s weekly meeting of Ministers.
If approved, the amendments to the Gas Regulation Bill 2013 will be considered in the Seanad on November 13th.
That will allow the Bill to complete its passage through the Oireachtas by the end of November, opening up the possibility that the sale of the energy business can proceed by the end of the year.
The department would not specify the nature of the amendments ahead of today’s meeting.
It is understood they do not relate to the debts carried by the company, which is not regarded as an issue in terms of the sale.
The legislation, published by Mr Rabbitte in July, provides for the restructuring of Bord Gáis Éireann by setting up a subsidiary company that will control its networks. That will remain in State ownership.
The Bill also provides for the sale of the company’s energy business. This is part of the Government’s asset disposal programme, which is a condition of the four-year-old bailout programme with the troika.
Under the agreement with the troika, half of the proceeds from the sale can be directed towards stimulus projects, including job creation, with the other half being used to write down debt.
Plans to sell off Coillte’s harvesting rights were jettisoned last June due to some concerns over value-for-money and legal considerations, as well as protests by walkers and other outdoor recreation groups over possible implications for access to open countryside.