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Moneypoint Power Station. Pic: Fergal Clohessy

Over 100 jobs to go at Moneypoint

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*Photograph: Fergal Clohessy

Less than one month after ESB refuted claims that redundancies would be sought at Moneypoint, over 100 jobs are to go at Ireland’s biggest electricity generator.

By October, over 100 jobs are to be lost at Moneypoint with ESB citing market pressures, carbon prices and increases in renewable energy for the drop in demand for it’s resources.

Less than a month after refuting claims that job redundancies were on the way for Moneypoint as contractors ceased employment, ESB briefed staff on Monday with dialogue commencing on on a lower running regime which is expected to take time to develop and finalise.

Ireland’s biggest electricity generator currently employs 194 people but the figure is set to significantly decrease over the coming weeks and months. It is the second largest employer in West Clare, behind Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland based in Doonbeg.

An ESB spokesperson said an increasingly competitive energy market, the growing volume of renewables and the impact of carbon prices on Moneypoint output “has meant that Moneypoint is now running far less than previously and given these market fundamentals, a low running regime is likely to persist into the future. The impact of these factors is that Moneypoint’s income has been significantly reduced”.

“Consequently, ESB needs to realign Moneypoint’s operation and resources with the new lower running regime. Local station management briefed staff and their union representatives today on these challenges and set out proposals for a reconfigured option for running Moneypoint. The consultation now in train will focus on the staffing levels required for the lower running regime, including discussions on how this can be achieved”.

Technology options for Moneypoint post 2025 as it moves away from coal are being examined that aims to deliver large-scale electricity generation and fuel diversity. “The development of replacement generation for Moneypoint, however, is contingent on a project winning an open auction for a capacity contract and on being commercially viable”.

ESB will not comment on the amount of jobs to go as it develops and finalise plans of it’s lower running regime. “ESB is very aware of the uncertainty this creates for all our staff and ESB is committed to supporting them through this process”.

Speaking at Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council, Chief Executive Pat Dowling stated, “We are already in discussions with management of Moneypoint with regard to any future developments that may arise”.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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