Bord na Móna accelerates Decarbonisation

Bord na Móna accelerates Decarbonisation. Fast-tracks Renewable Energy and Higher Value Recycling plans and brings forward the end of energy peat. Announces New Sustainable Business plans. 

Bord na Móna has announced its strategy to decarbonise, accelerating moves away from its traditional peat business into renewables, resource recovery and new sustainable businesses.

New Chief Executive, Tom Donnellan, has launched a Brown to Green strategy that aligns the company with National and EU Decarbonisation policies. It aims to accelerate the development of renewable energy assets to support national climate and energy policy targets as well as accelerating investment in higher-value recycling and resource recovery business. It will include developing new business to support sustainable employment in the Midlands. The strategy will commence engagement with employees flagging possible reduction of 380-430 managerial, administrative and peat operations roles. The complete end of using peat for energy will also be brought forward by two years to 2028.

Announcing the move Chief Executive, Tom Donnellan, said:

“Decarbonisation is the biggest challenge facing this planet. For Bord na Móna it presents both a serious challenge and a national opportunity. By accelerating the move away from peat into renewable energy, resource recovery, and new businesses we are supporting national policy and seizing the opportunity presented by decarbonisation. Standing still is not an option for Bord na Móna. We are embarking on a transition phase now which will see us become a leading provider of renewable energy on the Island of Ireland by 2026, a leader in high-value recycling and provider of a range of new low carbon goods and services. Allied to all of this, a key focus of our decarbonisation plan is ensuring that Bord na Móna remains a very significant employer in the Midlands of Ireland for the decades to come.              

In the past few months, we have put in place a new structure to safeguard the maximum number of jobs, facilitate the decarbonisation strategy and repositioning of the company. While decarbonisation means we must introduce a new structure it also means confronting some extremely difficult choices. It means that fewer people will be working in peat operations and also managerial and administrative roles across Bord na Móna. We will shortly open a voluntary redundancy programme, with the expectation that these changes could directly impact approximately 380-430 roles and employees.  A consultation process that includes the Group of Unions is underway.  It will enable Bord na Móna to work through these challenges.  In the medium term, we will be increasing employment again in our new businesses but this is not to minimise the real short-term challenges for people that flow from decarbonisation.”

Key points of the company’s decarbonisation plan include:

  • 75% of energy generated by the company will be renewable by 2020, up from 10% in 2010.
  • Development of new businesses to support the low carbon economy in development. Identified potential to create 400-500 jobs across the Midlands in the medium term.
  • Accelerated development of renewable energy assets. Providing up to 2GW of generating assets by 2030.
  • Steep increase in the supply of greenhouse-gas neutral biomass replacing peat to the three Midlands power stations.
  • The complete end of using peat for energy brought forward by two years to 2028.
  • An immediate steep reduction in peat volumes down from a recent high of 6.5million tonnes(mt) in 2013 to 2mt in 2020. Fast-tracking peat reduction and cessation will carry a significant associated reduction in carbon emissions.

Investment and acquisitions by the Resource Recovery business in high-value recycling and waste recovery operations aim to support the national circular economy. Expansion of the company’s new tyre-recycling plant are envisaged to create 46 jobs.