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Bord na Móna Reports Robust Performance, Progress on Decarbonisation and Sustainability Agenda

– Annual Report launched in Dublin today

– Progress on Decarbonisation Agenda as Carbon intensity of electricity generated falls for tenth year in a row and total peat production area falls to just one percent of Irish peat lands

– €180m renewable energy investment, Oweninny joint venture windfarm reaches financial close

– Net debt falls by €94.4m, from €170.5m to €76.1m

– Proposal to develop new Renewable Gas plant at Portlaoise, Co Laois

Company invests €31.3m in sustainable business projects and €9.3m (net) spend in research and development

– Bord na Móna has recorded: Turnover €395.3m, EBITDA (Pre-exceptional items) €74.3m, Operating Profit (Pre-exceptional items) €33.2m, Operating loss (after exceptional items) €6.1m

– Decarbonisation transition costs generate vast majority of exceptional items of €39.3m, also includes compliance related spend on UK acquisition

70% of profits projected to be non-peat based by 2021

Dublin, Monday, July 23rd, 2018. Bord na Móna this morning launched their Annual Report for year ended 28 March 2018 (“FY18”).

Commenting on the results, Chairman, Geoff Meagher said “These results point to the fundamental change underway in Bord na Móna as it implements its Decarbonisation Agenda, prepares for the imminent end of the Public Service Obligation, relating to peat for power generation, in 2019 and the exit from peat extraction for energy production by 2030.  As we make this transition we are acutely conscious that Bord na Móna contributes significantly to regional economic development and provides sustainable, quality employment in the Midlands of Ireland. The transition is extremely important as it will involve Bord na Móna further developing Ireland’s renewable energy infrastructure whilst remaining a profitable company.  It will also involve our traditional businesses underpinning the development of our renewable power generation and resource recovery businesses. The success of this positive transition will be shared not just by Bord na Móna and its employees but by communities across the Midlands and the people of Ireland generally”  

Also speaking at the launch of the annual report, Tom Donnellan, Chief Executive of Bord na Móna said “As someone who recently joined the company I am pleased to say that the underlying performance of the company is sound and that the transition to a more diverse, sustainable business model is proceeding apace. This is reflected in the fact that the operating profit, before exceptional items, remains strong at €33.2m. The financial strength of the business is also reflected in the fact that the company is reporting a much reduced net debt of €76.1m, an impressive decrease from €170.5m in the previous year. The company’s journey to a new, more sustainable business model saw it achieve some significant transition landmarks that also support our decarbonisation agenda. One significant landmark involved financial close being reached on the €180m Oweninny windfarm (joint venture with ESB). This project demonstrates how we in Bord na Móna can best use our land bank of over 200,000 acres in order to support national policy to decarbonise,  by investing in new forms of renewable energy that are secure and sustainable.

We are also reporting that the Carbon intensity of the electricity we generate has fallen for the eleventh year in a row, representing a 40% decline since 2007. This already steep decline is set to continue as the company expands its renewable generation capacity with solar coming on line and increasing wind and biomass. This will see the carbon intensity of Bord na Móna electricity fall by 65% in 2020 and by 85% in 2025. The company’s move away from peat was also evidenced in the fact that during the year we reduced the operational area of our bogs to a point where we now harvest peat on just one percent of Irish peat lands.     

During FY18, as part of our decarbonisation agenda, the group also restructured the Fuels business, closed the Littleton Briquette Factory and outlined plans to exit the coal business. The results also reflect the resolution of compliance issues in the UK based business, which was purchased in 2016. The costs associated with progressing all of these changes are reported today in the exceptional items and are driven by the need to decarbonise along with the required transition to a more sustainable business model.

Progress on the sustainability agenda included the investment of €31.3m in a variety of projects. This expenditure involved a number of different business areas including; 

Other future facing investment included a spend of €9.3million on research and development including business development (exclusive of grants). This spend involves the development of new opportunities in areas such as Renewable Gas,  Waste to Energy, Wind and Solar Farms, new products and markets in the horticultural sector and process improvements in all areas.”

New Sustainable Business- Renewable Gas Project 

The company has also announced plans to develop a renewable gas project near Portlaoise in Co. Laois. The proposed development could treat up to 80,000 tonnes of non-hazardous, biodegradable, organic materials per annum. This could include a combination of commercial food waste, brown bin waste, animal slurries and purpose grown crops, amongst others.

It is proposed to use Anaerobic Digestion to convert the organic materials into biogas. This will be injected into the national gas grid, for supply through the existing gas network, to homes and commercial businesses and will provide gas equivalent to the heating of 5,500 homes.

The proposed project will bring significant environmental benefits through the sustainable treatment and conversion of non-hazardous, biodegradable, organic waste materials into a renewable biogas. The process will also produce a nutrient rich by-product (bio-fertiliser) which will be suitable for land spreading on agricultural land and will be a sustainable alternative to traditional artificial fertilisers.

The proposed project represents another contribution by Bord na Móna to achieving Ireland’s renewable energy targets and will assist in the reduction of carbon emissions from sectors such as agriculture, heating and transport.

The Annual Report Shows:

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For further information, please contact: 045 439000

About Bord na Móna: Bord na Móna was initially established to develop Ireland’s peat resources for the economic benefit of the state. Today the company is implementing a decarbonisation agenda operating a diversified portfolio across five main business areas serving markets in Ireland, Britain, and Mainland Europe and further afield. These business activities are based on both peat and non-peat products and services and principally cover the power generation, resource recovery, horticulture and home heating sectors.

For more information, visit www.bordnamona.ie