The closure of Kilroot power station will remove at a stroke 36% of the electricity generation capacity within the province. This in itself is a threat to the continuation of supply to our homes. We must always remind ourselves of the comment “They haven’t gone away you know” when accessing and future electricity supply requirements. Any cross border link is simply a target for those who have no interest in the success of business or any other aspects of Northern Ireland.
At a time when the President of the United States, Donald Trump, is promoting the concept of America first it simply does not make sense to export jobs to another country which is precisely what this closure of Kilroot will do. We cannot afford to lose the estimated 270 jobs not least because of the loss of the skills involved before we even begin to consider the devastating effect on the families involved.
Kilroots problem stems from the fact it failed to land a contract to supply the new integrated single electricity market (ISEM). Should we ask why? In 1992 AES Corporation, in its first investment outside of the United States, purchased Kilroot. From then the healthy profits left these shores destined for the American company. Were the profits excessive and could this explain why Kilroot could not compete within this new unified market, were the Northern Ireland consumers paying over the odds for their electricity.
Could it be that Jenny Piper, the Utility Regulator Chief Executive, sat on her hands while Ulsters consumers paid more than the needed to and is perhaps a contributing factor to the downfall of Kilroot. Electricity cost needed to be kept in line for the benefit of the Northern Ireland consumer not AES.