An Irish-born businessman who made his fortune in the tech and telecoms has announced a €10m investment in a green energy project in Cork that aims to create 80 jobs within two years.
Pearse Flynn has acquired Crosshaven Boatyard as the headquarters of his new venture, Green Rebel Marine, to service the future needs of offshore windfarms.
The firm will use the nine-acre site as its base for surveying, equipping and servicing a network of planned wind farms along the Irish coast. The boatyard will continue its normal operations as a boatyard.
Mr Flynn, who is originally from East Cork and who owns and heads up UK debt solution company Creditfix, has also bought two specially equipped hi-tech ships for the new business.
The first vessel – the Bibby Athena, which will be renamed Roman Rebel - has already arrived in Cork. The second is scheduled to arrive later this year.
Plans for offshore wind farms are at an advanced stage with operators examining a number of potential fixed and floating wind farm sites along the coast from Dundalk to Cork.
Their construction will increase Ireland’s ability to produce renewable energy and create an entire sector to service the sites.
Mr Flynn said he believes that Green Rebel Marine will eventually support hundreds of jobs along the coast.
“Ireland is on the verge of a green revolution that will deliver five gigawatts of energy from wind, not generated on land, but far out to sea,” he said.
“Green Rebel Marine will work alongside the operators of this new array of wind turbines to ensure they remain operational by using skilled mariners who are trained here.
“We have already hired some of the industry’s leading scientists who will help conduct surveying in the months ahead, and our team will remain involved in these projects until they are operational and beyond.
The Ballycotton-born and now mostly Glasgow-based entrepreneur made headlines around the world in 2000, when, at the height of the dotcom boom, he sold Newbridge Networks to Alcatel for almost €8bn.
He went on to set up Damovo, a systems integrator; then rescued call-centre firm Contact4 before setting up Creditfix, one of Britain’s largest personal insolvency advisers.
He has held top positions in several companies, turning over billions a year, including Wang and Compaq, and has owned shares in Scottish football clubs, including Celtic.
Since 2018, he has ploughed millions of his own personal fortune back into his native Ballycotton to help it realise its full tourism potential, investing in restaurants, a marine leisure business, a playground and the magnificent restoration of Sea Church.
Now he plans to use Green Rebel Marine to develop a centre of excellence in Crosshaven to train and develop the staff required to meet the future needs of the floating wind farm industry.
“The cost of constructing these offshore, floating wind farms is coming down and there is a rush amongst operators to see who will be first to market,” he said.
“Unlike the challenges posed by such projects on land, these sea-based sites will be largely away from public view.
“Ireland has the potential to become a net exporter of electricity within a decade, as opposed to relying on imported fossil fuels. Green Rebel Marine marries the best of the blue and green economies. We will create and sustain Irish jobs and become a global leader in this field.”