Electric Ireland has announced that it is to supply major international dairy co-operative, LacPatrick Dairies, with natural gas in a contract worth £2.2m per annum following a competitive seven month process.
LacPatrick is the first major energy user to avail of the Gas to the West (GttW) project and with Electric Ireland being the first supplier in this project it is now the only gas supplier to operate in all three gas distribution network areas. The agreement with LacPatrick means that Electric Ireland will provide it with approximately 90 million kWh of energy per annum to power the site at Artigarvan, including its brand new €40m milk drying facility.
The £250m investment in GttW will bring natural gas to most of the main towns in the west, allowing industrial and commercial and SME energy users as well as households to avail of natural gas for the first time, driving both economic and social benefits and supporting businesses’ energy efficiency. This project was made possible by the significant investment by LacPatrick.
Clare McAllister, Sales and Marketing Manager, Electric Ireland said: “We are delighted to be the first supplier of gas on the first phase of the GttW project. Natural Gas is a key focus for Electric Ireland and this contract, the largest single-site contract on the island of Ireland, underpins our commitment to grow our market share in the Northern Ireland gas sector becoming a leader in dual fuel supply.”
Commenting on how Electric Ireland will manage the major contract Clare said:
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do in Electric Ireland. What matters to them, matters to us. We know that they want affordable energy, that they want more control over their energy costs. Our work with LacPatrick demonstrates our capacity to provide just that. We worked very closely with the LacPatrick team during the commissioning phase and we will maintain that support identifying and delivering energy and cost saving opportunities as well as offering them all the assurances that come from Electric Ireland being part of the ESB group, the largest shipper of gas on the Island of Ireland.
“We work with companies like LacPatrick to offer them real, valuable support by helping them to maximise their energy efficiency; providing access to day-to-day account management services and expert advice in the form of wholesale market updates and forecasts.
Gabriel Darcy, CEO, LacPatrick Artigarvan said: “LacPatrick has invested over £30m in the new dairy technology centre at Artigarvan. We are delighted to appoint Electric Ireland as our gas supplier for the site. Their long history in Ireland, and the consequent experience in providing energy for industry, along with their flexible and innovative approach made the journey easier for LacPatrick. Right from the initial discussions, they have understood the requirements and complexities of this state of the art site, and have shared our goal to run a highly energy-efficient, innovative production facility. Not only in supporting over 1000 family farms with a supply base but also provides wider social and economic benefits to West Ulster due to the delivery of gas to farmers and business. We look forward to a continued partnership with Electric Ireland.”