BORD Gáis is investing almost €280 million in a gas storage facility in Northern Ireland and is in talks about a similar facility at Kinsale.
This is according to the company’s chief executive John Mullins, who said it is also investing over €1.5 billion over the next five years in wind energy, which will provide “a lot of jobs”.
The group is one of the main contenders to buy the wind energy operations of the Bandon-based SWS Group, currently owned by ION Equity.
Bord Gáis obtained a licence from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Northern Ireland, effective from September 2008, to carry out geological and geophysical studies, including seismic studies to determine the feasibility of underground storage in the North. It expects the results of these studies in six months.
Bord Gáis has formed a consortium with Storengy (a company of GDF-SUEZ) and they will pool their expertise to carry out the investigations, while Bord Gáis isalso working closing with Star Energy in the Kinsale field.
“There is an opportunity to convert the Kinsale field into storage,” said Mr Mullins, who is campaigning, along with the Cork Chamber, for a Yes vote in the upcoming Lisbon referendum.
“If you look at the history of foreign direct investment in Ireland since 1973 we have actually created something like 300,000 jobs,” he said.
He added that being part of Europe has been “absolutely phenomenal for people in Ireland”.
“The idea that the Lisbon Treaty is going to bring the minimum wage down to €1.84 is downright rubbish.
“Nothing in the Lisbon Treaty says that the minimum wage should be set by a group of MEPs or a group of commissioners.
“No Irish government would ever consider that as being an option for the Irish nation,” he said. He also claimed that the No campaign has been “disingenuous” about the economic facts and he said that if the country votes No, Ireland will be viewed as a Euro-sceptic nation.
“People look at Ireland with its economic issues and say, why would a country with these issues not want to be part of a stronger Europe? A No vote would give an erratic message about Ireland,” he claimed.
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