Czech energy company EPH’s planned purchase of a 80 per cent stake in the Tynagh Energy gas power plant in Galway has been given the go-ahead from competition officials.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) cleared the proposed transaction at the end of last month, according to a notification on its website. It was first reported in late August that EPH, which is based in Prague, was lining up to acquire the respective 40 per cent stakes in Tynagh Energy held by GE Energy Financial Services and Turkish company Gama Energy.
Tynagh Energy founder Bran Keogh’s Mountainside Partners vehicle will continue to hold the remaining 20 per cent of the 400 megawatt (MW) plant, which opened in 2006 after landing a multi-year security-of-supply contract to act as a backup generator for the state power grid on guaranteed power prices.
“The commission has formed the view that the proposed transaction will not substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services in the State,” the CCPC said, adding that it will outline reasons for the decision by the end of November, after allowing the parties the opportunity to request that confidential information be removed from the published version.
The deal comes months after EPH, controlled by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, agreed to buy two power plants from AES Corporation in Northern Ireland. Mr Kretinsky, a lawyer by background, is co-owner and president of football club AC Sparta Prague.
A relatively bad summer for wind in 2018 and power-downs at some ESB plants helped boost output at the Tynagh Energy plant last year, which pushed revenues up to €120 million from €68 million in 2017.
EPH is buying the controlling stake at a time when demand for back-up power in the State is said to be set to remain high over the medium term.
Source: Irish Times, October 8th 2019