Power station closures: Naughten ask where are Bord na Mona & Minister?

Denis Naughten TD has called on both Bord na Mona and Minister Richard Bruton to publicly comment on the ESB’s decision to shut down its operations at Lough Ree Power in Lanesboro, following the decision to close West Offaly Power in Shannonbridge last week.

“It is now a week since notification was given on the closure of the Offaly power station and yet we have had no comment from Minister Bruton or Bord na Mona on the future job prospects of over 230 staff across the Midlands,” stated Denis Naughten.

“This decision has huge implications for job retention, not just in the two power plants and the associated bogs, but right across the region, and we need to hear from Minister Bruton and Bord na Mona who have yet to make a comment on the closure.

“While everybody across Ireland is understandably concerned about businesses being closed as a result of Covid-19, we now have a situation in the Midlands where there may be no work for hundreds of Bord na Mona and ESB staff once the current restrictions are lifted.

“My fear is that this issue, while a priority before Christmas, will be pushed under the carpet after the Covid crisis. While there is much work to be done to plan for our future economy after the current health emergency, much of the planning should have been completed on the Bord na Mona job situation and we now need to see practical action”.

 

Reaction from Fitzmaurice, Murphy

 

“Excuses” provided by the ESB for its decision to halt electricity being generated at the Lough Ree Power plant in Lanesboro are totally unacceptable, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

The ESB has claimed that the plant has been taken off load as a precaution to prevent the downstream river temperatures from increasing by more than 1.5 degrees celsius compared to the upstream reference intake temperature.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “To put it bluntly, I am not buying the excuses being bandied about by the ESB for closing Lough Ree Power.

“I believe they are hiding behind an environmental excuse in order to close the plant. If you look at the temperatures over recent nights, they have fallen to minus 2 and minus 3 degrees celsius respectively.

“I find it hard to believe that in weather conditions such as this, that there is a danger of the water temperature rising above the regulated level.

“This is just more bluster and spin from the ESB. We saw last week how electricity generation was brought to an abrupt halt at the West Offaly Power plant in Shannonbridge. A commitment was given then that at least one of either West Offaly Power or Lough Ree Power would stay open.

“The ESB is hiding behind the excuse that the move to close Lough Ree Power is required on environmental grounds”.

Senator Eugene Murphy expressed anger at ESB’s decision to close Lanesboro Power Station.

“I was shocked to hear the Lanesboro announcement. It certainly is bad news for hundreds of families throughout the region. With the present (Covid-19) crisis in the world I was expecting a different type of announcement from the ESB.

“I certainly thought this whole process would have slowed down. I am appealing to our three TDs from Roscommon/Galway to work to the best of their ability to work to reverse this and I will certainly give them every support in that endeavour. This situation needs not to be let fizzle out as if he does there will be little or nothing for many families from this region”.