Airtricity to buy North gas supplier

Airtricity is set to boost its presence in the North by taking over the business of the region’s leading residential gas supplier Phoenix Supply.

The move sees British utility SSE, which owns Airtricity, expand its Irish operations through the £19.1 million (€24m) acquisition of Phoenix.

SSE — formerly known as Scottish and Southern Energy — plans to subsume Phoenix into the growing Airtricity business, which formally entered Northern Ireland’s domestic electricity market in 2010 and has since become one of the region’s fastest growing energy companies with over 100,000 electricity customers switching to its service in under two years.

SSE acquired Airtricity — which is seen as the Scottish group’s renewable energy division — in 2008; two years ahead of the company’s entry into the domestic gas market in the Republic.

Once the Phoenix takeover is completed — the deal is reliant on Competition Authority approval, which is anticipated before the end of the summer — Airtricity will have an all-Ireland domestic gas and electricity offering.

The move will also make Airtricity Northern Ireland’s second largest energy supplier and will boost its customer base to over 230,000.

“This is a significant step forward for Airtricity and Phoenix Supply as we seek to become the largest supplier of both electricity and natural gas in Northern Ireland,” said Kevin Greenhorn, SSE’s director of business supply and contracting and chief executive of Airtricity.

“This is especially exciting as for the first time consumers in Northern Ireland will be able to enjoy the benefits of dual fuel products and services,” he added.


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