ESB and Coillte plan to jointly build wind farms faces further scrutiny

Competition watchdogs to look again at €1bn deal between two companies

Coillte and  ESB plan to jointly build wind farms  that could generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Coillte and ESB plan to jointly build wind farms that could generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

Competition watchdogs will step up their investigation of a proposed €1 billion energy deal between State companies ESB and Coillte.

Forestry company Coillte and energy group ESB plan to jointly build wind farms around the Republic that could generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said on Thursday that it plans a “full phase two investigation” of the proposed partnership.

The size of the deal, which could see ESB and Coillte spending up to €1 billion in total, means the commission must first ensure that it will not distort normal commercial competition.

“Following a preliminary investigation, the CCPC has determined that a full investigation is required in order to establish if the proposed transaction could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any market for goods or services in the State,” a statement said.