Tapping potential of single square mile

Close to 25% of Ireland’s energy requirements are provided from a single square mile in East Cork.

The area — which is home to the Phillips 66 Whitegate Oil Refinery, the Bord Gáis Energy 445mw power station, and the ESB’s 963mw plant — has the potential to become Ireland’s first energy park.

Neil O’Carroll, lead executive at Phillips 66’s Irish refinery, speaking at a conference to mark the launch of Energy Cork, a new energy sector cluster, described the site as an energy park. Harnessing its potential is one of the aims of Energy Cork.

In the course of hisaddress Mr O’Carroll disclosed that the refinery is the single biggest source of exchequer funding — contributing €750m a year to the State’s coffers.

Statistics compiled for Energy Cork show that while Cork currently accounts for about 13% of Ireland’s energy use, it supplies almost 26% of Ireland’s national energy requirements.

Other key statistics revealed:

* 90% of the State’s strategic oil reserves held in Ireland are stored in Cork.

* 31% of Ireland’s oil products are supplied from the region.

* 100% of Ireland’s indigenous natural gas is produced in the region — 8% of the country’s current requirements.

* 14% of Ireland’s electricity production is produced in Cork; and

* 19% of Ireland’s wind energy comes from the region.

Energy Cork is being supported by the Cork Area Strategic Plan and will be funded to the tune of €200,00 over the next two years from the Economic Development Funds of Cork City and Cork County Councils.

The aim of Energy Cork is to:

* be a recognised and influential focal point for the energy sector in the Cork region;

* help consolidate and raise awareness of Cork’s position at the forefront of economic, commercial, research, and educational activity in the energy sector; and

* to actively contribute to economic growth and job creation in Cork.

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