Irish gas power deal
An agreement to build a gas-fired power station in Dublin was signed on 9 April by Statoil and Irish electricity generator ESB.
Subject to formal approval by the Irish authorities, the deal makes ESB responsible for operating for the new facility and selling its output. Statoil will have a 30 per cent holding.
"This investment is in line with our long-term strategy of securing a position in gas-based power generation," says Statoil senior vice president Peter Mellbye.
"Ireland represents an attractive market for us because it is expanding strongly."
The new power station will be built on the site of a former oil-based generating facility close to the Dublin docks. Statoil and ESB intend to invest almost IEP 200 million (roughly NOK 2.1 billion) in the project.
Plans call for construction of the facility to start towards the end of 1999, and to be completed within two years. It will have a workforce of 40 people.
Demand for electricity in the Irish Republic has grown by an average of five per cent annually over the past decade.
Statoil's Alliance Gas subsidiary will supply gas to the power station.
The group is involved in 10 exploration licences off Ireland, and operates four of these. On the downstream side, it ranks as market leader for Ireland with more than 300 service stations.
ESB is one of Ireland's largest companies, with 24 power stations serving 1.5 million customers. It has long experience of operating such facilities both within the Irish Republic and abroad.