Energy utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is planning to create 100 new full-time jobs in the next 12 months in Ireland to support its energy portfolio here, while the company said it will also be creating 600 indirect construction jobs over the next two years during the construction phase of new energy projects.
The new jobs were announced this afternoon in Dublin by Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE and its lead director for Ireland.
The jobs will centre around new projects such as a combined cycle gas turbine at Great Island in Co Wexford and during the construction of over 100MW of new wind farms across Ireland.
The jobs news comes in the wake of this morning’s news that SSE, which owns Airtricity, is to acquire the electricity generation assets of Endesa Ireland, the subsidiary of the Spanish energy firm Endesa, itself a subsidiary of Italy’s Enel SpA.
Endesa Ireland has been operating power generation plants in Ireland with a total installed capacity of 1,068MW, which according to Enel has been about 12pc of the Irish market’s installed capacity.
SSE’s investment includes a 460MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) at Great Island in Co Wexford. Construction of the turbine has recently started and it is expected to be commissioned in 2014.
The gas-fired power plant will replace the existing 240MW fuel oil unit at the site.
SSE’s takeover of Endesa in Ireland also includes 208MW of operational gas-oil plants, at Tawnaghmore in Co Mayo and at Rhode in Co Offaly.
The acquisition of Endesa also takes in planning permission for a CCGT at the existing 620MW fuel-oil Tarbert plant in Co Kerry.
SSE entered the Irish energy market in 2008 when it acquired Airtricity.
The company said today that this jobs announcement will bring total employment at it businesses in Ireland to over 900 full-time employees.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this afternoon that the SSE jobs announcement was a vote of confidence for Ireland and for the economy.
"Secure energy supply is crucial for future investment and jobs and also presents other significant economic opportunities for Ireland, particularly in the export of renewable power," he said.