Bord na Móna is to deliver 1,435 jobs to Ireland’s midlands over the next five year as it focuses on renewable energy.

As part of a major strategic shift, Bord na Móna is focusing its efforts on climate solutions through delivering renewable energy, through recycling and through peatland rehabilitation.

1,100 of the new jobs will be generated directly by Bord na Móna with the remainder coming from partnerships with third party companies.

“We are going beyond merely replacing old jobs. We are creating over 1,400 21st-century jobs ranging from operatives to hi tech and professional roles”

The announcement follows the creation of 550 jobs over the past 18 months.

Around 250 of the jobs will be created in renewable energy, recycling, consumer products and land habitats development. An additional 300 nobs will be created across the midlands to support renewable energy services such as wind and solar farms.

Bord na Móna said that direct employment levels at the company are expected to return to pre-2018 transition levels within the next five years.

A rich legacy

Currently 80pc of Bord na Móna’s operations are focused on renewable energy production, recycling, peatland rehabilitation and sustainable product development.

“By 2030, Bord na Móna will be able to supply a third of Irish homes with renewable energy,” said Tom Donnellan, chief executive of Bord na Móna.

“Bord na Móna’s transformation shows that people and planet can both win in the coming decades

“We are in the climate solutions business now and today’s announcement is tangible evidence that we are, and will continue to be, a leading employer in the midlands into the future.

“We are going beyond merely replacing old jobs. We are creating over 1,400 21st-century jobs ranging from operatives to hi tech and professional roles.”

The jobs announcemet was welcomed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin who said: “Our world has changed dramatically since Bord na Móna was established. Climate change is now the key long-term challenge we face.

“Building on its rich legacy, Bord na Móna has reinvented itself to meet that challenge, with the continued development of over 1,400 climate solutions jobs. I wish Bord na Móna, its employees and the communities it serves every success in the years ahead.”

In May it emerged that Bord na Móna had raised €100m from Bank of Ireland and the European Investment Bank for a new €100m renewable energy power plant in Offaly.

The wind-generated power plant could supply enough electricity to power 55,000 homes at full capacity.

In January Bord na Móna revealed that it had formally ended all peat harvesting on the island of Ireland under what it terms its “brown to green” strategy.

As part of this strategy, by 2030 Bord na Móna will have developed wind, solar and other assets capable of supplying in the region of one third of all Irish homes with renewable energy. It also plans to be the leading collection and recycling business in Ireland by 2030, supporting national circular economy objectives. 

In September 2020 it revealed it was planning to raise €1.6bn to fund a series of major climate action projects across its 200,000-acre landholding.

The same month, two windfarm projects representing a combined investment of €170m by Bord na Móna emerged successful in the first competitive auction under the Irish Government’s new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS-1).

Cloncreen Wind Farm (located in Co Offaly) and the Oweninny Wind Farm Phase 2 (a joint venture with ESB, located in Co Mayo) were both successful in their bids, winning 158MW total capacity in the auction.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 15 July 2021

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