Clare’s Junior Minister has indicated that wind energy will play a significant role in the future of Moneypoint.
Coal burning is due to cease at the west Clare plant in just over five years and Fine Gael’s Pat Breen is “satisfied” that the site will be used to generate electricity post 2025.
It comes amid concern over a lack of clarity on the future of the plant.
Coal operations have been slowing at Moneypoint in recent times, for a number of reasons, and by 2025 it will cease there altogether.
And while the ESB has suggested it will make a decision on the future of the plant this year, there remains a lack of clarity on what this means for around 400 workers there.
Responding to reports that the number of contractors at Moneypoint have already been greatly scaled back, the Minister for Communications has said a balance needs to be struck between the company and staff.
Richard Bruton has told the Dáil that commercial reasons are behind the lack of clarity at this time and he’s also given an indication that the importance of Moneypoint will continue to be recognised in the future:
Moneypoint has played a vital role in the local economy in West Clare over the past forty years, providing employment and generating around 30% of Council rates.
It’s estimated that it supports 400 staff, directly and indirectly.
Clare’s Independent TD, Dr Michael Harty is concerned that time is running out for a decision on its future to be made:
But Clare’s Junior Minister is “satisfied” that the site at Moneypoint will be used for the generation of electricity post 2025.
While Pat Breen admits that commercial reasons may drive decisions, he doesn’t believe that means staff numbers will greatly decline.
And the Fine Gael Minister of State thinks wind energy will play a significant role in the future.