As part of the Government’s asset disposal programme provided for in the Programme for Government and agreed with the troika (i.e. the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), the Government has agreed the sale of some non-strategic power generation assets of the ESB. The disposal process is overseen by a Steering Group co-chaired by officials from both my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and including officials from the Department of Finance and NewERA.
Significant progress was made during 2012 on preparing for the asset disposals. ESB made an announcement in October 2012 regarding the sale of some of its non-strategic generation capacity. This will involve a package of assets being brought to the market on a phased basis, commencing in 2013, with the objective of delivering up to €400 million of special dividends to the Government by 2014. In this regard, ESB announced on 27 February 2013 its intention to sell its 50% shareholding in each of its international tolling plants, namely Marchwood Power Ltd in the UK and Bizkaia Energia SL in Spain. Details of further components of the package will be announced at the appropriate junctures, subject to (i) the integrity of the sales processes and (ii) relevant commercial considerations.