If Intel do not build ‘mega-plant’ in Ireland it ‘won’t be’ for lack of energy infrastructure

Ryan says it was made ‘absolutely clear’ to the IDA that power will be in place for major projects

The Government has made it "absolutely clear" that the State's energy infrastructure will be able to provide the power needed for projects such as a mooted multibillion euro Intel microchip plant, Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan has said.

Ireland is reportedly one of three countries on a short-list as a location for some of the company’s planned €80 billion investment over the next decade, which could yield thousands of jobs.

The Business Post on Sunday reported that the tech giant has concerns about locating the facility in the State because of potential energy shortages.

It said the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) had warned that the energy crisis had the potential to inflict “considerable reputational damage” and negatively affect the country’s ability to attract foreign direct investment.


However, Mr Ryan insisted in response that “we’ve made it absolutely clear that we will be able to provide the power for this type of plant, and that won’t be the reason it won’t go ahead if it isn’t successful”.

He said that while Ireland had “immediate [generation] balancing issues this year because two of the power plants are out, we’re very clear that we don’t see the energy constraint affecting any such an investment decision”.


The Minister said he no longer expected power shortages this year because the two plants would be back in operation in the winter.

He said Eirgrid had “made it clear to the IDA that there will be power and we can manage the sort of investment they’re looking at”.

Mr Ryan said the State would import emergency electricity generators for winter next year. There had been plans to bring in 200MZ of emergency energy this winter but that was challenged legally.

“We have an immediate short-term problem, we need more balancing generation on the system, but that will be put in place in the next three to four years in advance of any investment like the one being discussed at the moment.”

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times