Bord na Móna - Source Issue 8 - (Page 13)

Water,Water everyWhere IRElAND’S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IS SET FoR GREAT ChANGE AND BoRD NA MÓNA WANTS To PlAy A CENTRAl RolE IN ITS FUTURE Engaging A new Irish water utility was proposed in the 2011 Programme for Government (Programme for National Recovery 2011-2016). This will include the transfer of water services from the 34 local authorities, and it is a key element in the Programme of Financial Support between Ireland and the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Bord na Móna has thrown its hat into the ring as a contender to assume responsibility for Irish water services, which will transfer to ‘Irish Water’ and it is developing a transition strategy to manage that transfer. “We’re offering a brownfield solution – we’re a state-owned, commercial company and can subsume this activity and appoint suitably qualified people to manage it,” said Colm Ó Gogain, head of Strategic Infrastructure. Chief amongst Bord na Móna’s capabilities is its track record of managing diverse multi-site businesses, its strong technical/project delivery capability and experience in water/wastewater treatment, business rationalisation/ diversification, and transition management. It also has a proven ability to raise funds in international capital markets and proven corporate governance structure. PWC and McCann Fitzgerald have been appointed by the State to independently assess how water is delivered in Ireland and to make recommendations for its future delivery. “The suggestions include either a capital investment model – investing in the existing infrastructure and upgrading it to meet future needs – or a full-blown utility company,” said Colm. Bord na Móna favours an independently-funded, regulated utility model that will create a commercial semi-state enterprise with borrowing capacity to finance water infrastructure while remaining in state ownership. Bord na Móna’s interest in water dates back to 2007 when it formed a Special Water Project Group. That Group reviewed commercial opportunities for Irish water infrastructure and services. It is currently planning to co-develop the Greater Dublin Water Supply Project with Dublin City Council, incorporating its Garryhinch site. For this proposal, the company has developed a roadmap to manage the transition based on ‘going live’ on January 1, 2012 with a Capital Investment Company or on January 1, 2014 with a full-service, self-financing water utility. This latter 2014 option is based on domestic charges being implemented, with Irish Water receiving that income from domestic and non-domestic charges and becoming the beneficial owner of the national water assets. Nor will the new utility company be unsupervised. Bord na Móna’s proposal assumes the establishment of a Water Regulator and an independent, economic regulatory regime to govern Irish Water and ensure delivery of a quality service at a fair price. Within Bord na Móna, it is envisaged that Irish Water would fit into an environmental infrastructure and services division, which would be in line with the company’s “New Contract with Nature”. Working alongside Renewable Energy and Resource Recovery, the new water utility would benefit from substantial synergies in the use of renewable energy solutions and value-added waste recovery. “In all of this, we recognise the competence of the local authorities in the water services as delivered,” said Colm. “We’ve had a long working relationship with the local authorities in the areas where we operate and we’re a trusted entity.” inforMation For more information on Bord na Móna’s ongoing developments in water, check out the news pages on S Source | 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bord na Móna - Source Issue 8

Bord na Móna - Source Issue 8
Table of Contents
Business Round-up
King of the Bogs
New Divisions
Going Digital
Water, Water Everywhere
Focused Growth
Change is Afoot
Cool Running
Project Update
Heritage Corner

Bord na Móna - Source Issue 8