ESB to cut jobs at coal-fired Moneypoint power plant in Clare

Up to 100 positions could be lost at the ESB plant, which currently employs 194

Close to 100 jobs are to go at the coal-fired Moneypoint power station with ESB citing market pressures, carbon prices and increases in renewable energy for the drop in demand for it's resources.

Less than a month after rejecting claims that redundancies were on the way for Moneypoint as contractors ceased employment, ESB briefed staff on Monday with dialogue commencing on a lower-running regime that is expected to take time to develop and finalise.

Ireland's biggest electricity generator employs 194 people but the figure is set to significantly decrease. It is the second largest employer in west Clare, behind Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland based in Doonbeg.

ESB said an increasingly competitive energy market, the growing volume of renewables and the impact of carbon prices on Moneypoint output “has meant that Moneypoint is now running far less than previously and given these market fundamentals, a low-running regime is likely to persist into the future. The impact of these factors is that Moneypoint’s income has been significantly reduced.”


Staff briefing

“Consequently, ESB needs to realign Moneypoint’s operation and resources with the new lower-running regime. Local station management briefed staff and their union representatives today on these challenges and set out proposals for a reconfigured option for running Moneypoint. The consultation now in train will focus on the staffing levels required for the lower-running regime, including discussions on how this can be achieved,” the company added.

Technology options for Moneypoint post 2025, as it moves away from coal, are being examined to deliver large-scale electricity generation and fuel diversity. “The development of replacement generation for Moneypoint, however, is contingent on a project winning an open auction for a capacity contract and on being commercially viable,” the company said.

ESB would not comment on the amount of jobs to go as it develops and finalises plans for its lower-running regime. “ESB is very aware of the uncertainty this creates for all our staff and ESB is committed to supporting them through this process,” the company said.