Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Moneypoint ESB Station.


asked the Minister for Energy if stage 3 of the ESB station at Moneypoint will not be proceeded with in view of the effect it will have on existing generating stations.

The completion of the third unit at Moneypoint has been under review in my Department. I am considering the results of that review and I expect that a decision on the matter will be taken at an early date.

The decision involves a number of complex issues and all relevant considerations, including any implications there may be for existing generating capacity, will be taken into account.

Did the Minister hear the interview on Radio Éireann today with the Chief Executive, Mr. Moriarty, who stated that he was continuing with the completion of the third stage of Moneypoint? Mr. Moriarty stated he had not been instructed not to proceed with the third stage and that he is prepared to go ahead with it.

The answer to the first part of the marathon question is "No, I did not hear the interview." In the circumstances I would find it very difficult to make any comment, but I will investigate the circumstances of the interview.

If what I have stated is correct, and it is, does the Minister intend to take any action against that official?

We are entering into hypotheses. The position is as I have stated — it is under review, the results will be considered and a decision will be taken.

Although the Minister has not given a direction the CEO has taken it on himself to continue with the work on the third stage while he is awaiting a decision from the Government.

A question please, Deputy.

Will the Minister direct the chief executive officer not to proceed further with this work in view of the serious implications and the overall cost of the third and fourth phases, but particularly the third phase?

That direction was given more than 12 months ago and I am sure it applies to this very day.

Arising from the Minister's reply——

We cannot have a debate on this.

If such a direction has issued, does the Minister intend to take action against the chief executive officer?

The Deputy is repeating his question.

In my view this means the chief executive officer is flagrantly disobeying a directive from the Minister for Energy. Does the Minister intend taking any action against him for flouting that directive?

In my first reply I said I had not heard the interview but I gave an assurance that I would make it my business to find out the contents of the interview to which the Deputy referred.

A final supplementary from Deputy Noel Treacy.

Arising out of the Minister's initial reply, can he tell us who is carrying out this review? Is it the same body who are carrying out the review on the proposed peat briquette factory at Ballyforan, and when will a decision be made?

The review will be carried out by the technical division of my Department and obviously some personnel will be involved in both reviews.

Will they be the same body——

Certain people will be involved in both reviews.

When will a decision be made?

Within a matter of months.

I will allow Deputy Power to ask one question.

From his reply did I understand the Minister to say that he can exercise control over the working of the ESB?

That is a separate question.

I understand from the Minister's reply that he can exercise that control because he gave them certain instructions some months ago. It is generally perceived that this——

The Deputy is opening a debate.

Does the Minister not think it is his duty to utilise that control and exercise it now?


The remaining questions will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.

In view of the very serious nature of the situation, with your permission, Sir, I wish to raise it on the Adjournment.

It is after 4 o'clock and I cannot take notice this evening.

I wanted to raise a very serious question on the Adjournment.