The Gas Regulation Bill 2013, which was approved by Government at its most recent meeting, has been published. The Bill provides for the restructuring of Bord Gáis Éireann (BGÉ) by establishing a gas networks subsidiary company which will remain in State ownership. It will also facilitate the sale of BGÉ’s energy’s business.
The sale of Bord Gáis Energy is part of the Government’s State assets disposal programme and is being pursued as a commitment under the EU/IMF Programme and as provided for in the Programme for Government. The sale process was formally launched by BGÉ on 3 May last and it is expected that the sale will be concluded by the end of this year.
The Government is committed to retaining the BGÉ gas networks along with the two gas interconnectors in State ownership as national strategic infrastructure, critical for the delivery of secure, sustainable and competitive energy supplies.
The Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD. Coments: “I am pleased that the Government has approved my legislative proposals to underpin the sale of BGE’s energy business and to also establish a gas networks subsidiary, consistent with EU requirements, which will facilitate the continued State ownership of the strategically important gas network infrastructure. I will be introducing the Bill early in the autumn session and I look forward to early enactment by the Oireachtas.”
Half of the proceeds will be available to fund employment enhancing projects of a commercial nature. The other half, while destined eventually to pay-down debt, will, in the first instance, be constituted as a fund to underpin additional lending into Ireland, for example by the EIB, in support of further investment in job-creating initiatives.