International Power pulls out of Ireland’s Viridian sale - report
International Power has pulled out of the bidding process for Irish utility Viridian, the Irish Times reported on Friday. During the sale of ESB’s assets, earlier in the year, International Power placed a joint bid with Irish gas incumbent Bord Gáis, and it had been presumed a similar set-up had been arranged for the Viridian sell-off.
No-one at International Power was available to officially comment on the company’s decision. However a source within the company told ICIS Heren that International Power had recently been considering entering the Irish market, although this project had now been sidelined.
International Power’s decision to pull out of the running for Virdian’s assets is unlikely to prevent Bord Gáis from continuing to expand in Ireland. In May the company set itself a target of controlling 25% of Irish power in the medium term, and without extra generation capability it is unlikely to be able to reach this target. In fact, when ESB sold two oil-fired plants and two peaking plants to Endesa, Bord Gáis made no secret of the fact that it was disappointed it had not won the tender. Nevertheless Bord Gáis were unwilling to comment if it is interested in Viridian.
The actual assets that Viridian plans to sell are still unclear. Reports in the press have suggested that Energia, which supplies gas and power to customers in the Republic of Ireland, as well as Huntstown Power, which runs the 747 MW Huntstown CCGT plant located in Dublin, are likely candidates. However there have also been suggestions that NIE Energy, the only power supplier in Northern Ireland, as well as the distribution company Northern Ireland Electricity are in fact up for sale.
Nonetheless Arcapita, which is based in Bahrain, is planning to make as much as £2 billion from the deal. As it bought the entire Viridian stock for £1.62 billion, just two years ago, it has been suggested that all the Viridian’s assets were part of the deal. TMM
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