UK energy firm challenges Eirgrid’s awarding of contract to rival

EP UK Investments wants court to review award of emergency power supply contract

Eirgrid did not say to which company it awarded the contract. Photograph: iStock

Eirgrid did not say to which company it awarded the contract. Photograph: iStock

 

Electricity plant owner EP UK Investments is challenging national grid operator Eirgrid’s award of an emergency power supply contract to a rival.

EP owns 80 per cent of Tynagh Energy in Co Galway along with the Ballylumford and Kilroot power plants in Co Antrim.

The company wants the High Court to review the recent award of an emergency standby electricity supply contract by Eirgrid.

David Martin, spokesman for the national grid company, confirmed that EP has challenged a “procurement process run by Eirgrid to address security of supply issues” in the Republic, in particular the award of contracts for standby generation.

“The legal basis for this challenge is the use of the negotiated procedure under Regulation 49 of European Union (Award of Contracts by Utility Undertakings) Regulations 2016 as opposed to an open procedure,” Mr Martin said.

He added that the matter was set down for hearing in October. EP did not comment.

Eirgrid did not say to which company it awarded the contract. The grid operator last month recruited ESB to provide 200 megawatts of standby power in Dublin over the winter months.

Increasing demand put the Republic’s electricity supplies under pressure last winter, prompting alerts from market regulators.

EP bought Ballylumford, Kilroot and its stake in Tynagh in 2019. The company is the British subsidiary of Czech Republic-based Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding, which has investments across Europe.

The company plans to invest £600 million (€705 million) in Ballylumford and Kilroot.