Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Question 582: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the arrangements made to compensate ESOP as a result of his decision to alter the ESB and give away sites (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25949/07]
The Energy Policy White Paper and the Programme for Government contain a range of actions to deliver greater competition, energy security of supply and a low carbon future for Ireland, including the transfer to EirGrid of ownership of the transmission assets and the sale or divestment of ESB capacity under the CER-ESB Asset Strategy.
While the decisions regarding practical implementation of the CER-ESB Asset Strategy are a commercial matter for the company, in consultation with the Regulator, the mechanisms to implement the transfer to EirGrid of ownership of the assets comprise a range of legislative, commercial, legal and financial dimensions, which are currently under consideration.
In line with successive Partnership Agreements, there will be a full process of engagement with the management and unions of both ESB and EirGrid on implementation of the transfer of the asset ownership function. The process will also include engagement on legitimate concerns of the ESB's Employee Share Ownership Trust (ESOT).
Government policy will be implemented in a way that ensures the future of both EirGrid and ESB as strong Semi State companies, as well as reflecting the position of the State and the ESOT as shareholders. It is my intention that the ESB Group will remain a strong, commercially viable and integrated entity after completion of this process.