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ESB to supply gas to commercial clients

Source: Irish Times

THE ESB has entered the commercial gas supply market, but has no plans to enter the domestic market, the semi-State body said yesterday.

In August this year, the Commission for Energy Regulation granted a gas supply licence to ESB’s independent energy division, ESBIE.

The ESBIE was set up as a separate division within ESB in 2000 to supply energy to industrial, commercial and business energy users in Ireland. It claims to have 35 per cent market share in terms of electricity supply to commercial and industrial customers.

This is the first time ESBIE has entered the gas supply market. It confirmed yesterday that it was now supplying two of its electricity customers – a manufacturing and a pharmaceutical company – with gas as well as electricity.

The provision of both gas and electricity to industrial customers is not unusual in the industrial sector.

ESB is the last company to provide “dual fuel” to commercial and industrial customers. Other energy companies, including An Bord Gáis, Energia, Vayu and Scottish Southern already provide both gas and electricity to industrial and commercial customers in this sector.

Liam Molloy, managing director of ESBIE, said yesterday that the foray into gas supply was a logical move, as the company already sourced gas for electricity generation.

Currently two-thirds of the gas imported into Ireland is used for electricity generation, with the remainder being supplied to customers.

ESB uses approximately half of the gas imported to generate electricity at its two gas-powered stations in Dublin and Derry.

Mr Molloy said he believed that the company’s expertise in the area of gas would allow it to offer customers more competitive rates.

He said that ESBIE also hoped to move into providing gas to industrial and commercial customers in Northern Ireland “in due course”.

 






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