Threatened ESB strike will damage flow of investments – IDA warns

29 Nov 2013

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IDA Ireland has warned that firms that have invested in Ireland have expressed worry over the looming electricity strikes planned by ESB unions, which it says could damage Ireland’s international reputation.

IDA Ireland CEO Barry O’Leary pointed out that the inward investment agency’s clients are some of the biggest users of electricity in the country, including manufacturers, data centres and biotechnology campuses which consume many megawatts of electricity per day between them.

He said that on any given day dozens of companies are in the process of making decisions to move parts of their business to Ireland.

“If we can’t guarantee something as basic as electricity, these investments are less likely to come to Ireland,” O’Leary warned. “IDA clients companies are seeking reassurance that electricity supply will not be broken.”

Credibility

Speaking from Korea, where he is currently on an investment mission, O’Leary said: “Ireland will lose credibility with international companies if a power outage goes ahead – the resulting impact on investment could be significant.

“The implications of a power supply interruption for IDA clients in Ireland could prompt a rethink by some on Ireland as a location for foreign investment.

“I hope this situation can be resolved as quickly as possible and that no lasting damage is done to Ireland’s international reputation,” O’Leary said.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com