I propose to take Question Nos. 151 and 179 together.
On 6 February 2007, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) issued an authorisation to the ESB to construct a new generating unit at Aghada, setting out the conditions applying to ESB's establishment and operation of the unit. This was preceded by a Memorandum of Understanding on 29th November 2006, between the CER and the Company. Details of the authorisation are available on the CER's website.
The fulfilment of measures agreed between ESB and the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) in relation to the licensing of a new power station at Aghada is principally a matter between the regulator and the company and not one in which I have a function. However, I should point out that, as required under the Electricity Supply (Amendment) Act, 1982, ESB submitted details of the capital expenditure proposals for the building of the new unit for my approval. I issued my approval in a letter to the Chairman on 28 December, stipulating that it was strictly contingent on compliance with all the terms and conditions accompanying the authorisation by the CER.
In relation to the Government Decision to ring-fence the output, the precise methodology as to how this is to be implemented is to be the subject of detailed discussion between my Department and the CER in the very near future, in the context of regulatory arrangements for the Single Energy Market.