Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment

ESB Networks: Discussion (Resumed)

Mr. Paul Mulvaney:

Replacing cables is a tricky piece of work because we need to find new routes for them. There are many other services underground, where the cables are, such as water, sewage, telephone cables, broadband cables and gas pipe work. As there must be a certain amount of clearance between electrical and gas networks, finding routes to replace those cables is highly challenging. This will take a long time but we are working our way through it. Electrically, as these cables will be sound for another 100 years, they are doing their job and are well designed from that point of view. We want to take them off the system because of leakage but it is not a simple fix. Replacing all the cables in Dublin would cause disruption around the city equivalent to building 70 Luas cross-city lines.

It is something that we have to manage and do in a controlled manner.