Airtricity owner to buy Endesa Ireland assets


Airtricity owner SSE is to buy Endesa Ireland’s electricity generation assets in a deal worth €488 million.

The investment will include gas-fired power plant currently under construction at Great Island, Co Wexford, which is expected to be commissioned in 2014, and plants at Tawnaghmore in Co Mayo and Rhode, Co Offaly.

The deal must be approved by the Competition Authority, and is expected to be completed later in the summer.

The investment is expected to create several hundred new jobs, including construction positions, during its development, the details of which will be announced later today.

“The completion of this acquisition and that of Phoenix Supply announced in May will make SSE the third largest energy company across the island with 750,000 customers,” Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE said.

“Furthermore, it will take SSE’s total investment into the future of Irish energy to over €1.7 billion in the last five years, of which half relates to the period since Airtricity became part of SSE in 2008.”

Spanish energy firm Endesa bought four four electricity plants from the ESB in 2008 for €450 million. It intended to invest a further €450 million updating the Tarbert and Great Island plants.

But Ireland is not among the firm's core markets, and in recent years, Endesa has begun selling off assets across Europe and Latin America to cut costs.