Stoppage of Shannonbridge power station demonstrates a clear need for Just Transition – Cowen

Published on: 08 April 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen has said there must be a regular and on-going review of the situation around the West Offaly Power (WOP) Plant in Shannonbridge.

Deputy Cowen said that yesterday’s sudden stoppage of the WOP plant, due to the low price of electricity and demand, coupled with low energy fuel, such as gas and oil, will have a massive knock-on effect for Bord na Móna and puts further jobs at risk.

He said the recommendations made by Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey in his report to the Government are now even more vital and this report must be published immediately.

He explained, “ESB stopped the West Offaly Power (WOP) Station in Shannonbridge suddenly today. I understand their reasoning, that the demand for and price of electricity has gone down.

“Fianna Fáil are calling for a regular review of the situation as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Once restrictions are relaxed, the demand for electricity will rise. Both the ESB and Bord na Móna must be ready to respond to this increased demand. My thoughts are with the workers, their families and the wider community at this difficult and worrying time.

“Both companies must engage quickly with representatives of employees, who are directly and indirectly impacted by the stoppage, to lessen the impact of this decision.

“One thing this crisis has shown us is, that the recommendations of the Just Transition Commissioner need to be implemented as a matter of urgency,” he concluded.

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