Belfast Telegraph

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Regulator backed in row on NIE investment

Manufacturers in Northern Ireland said they support the Utility Regulator in a row with NIE over the cost of investment.

NIE, owned by the Irish state-owned Electricity Supply Board (ESB), has asked the Regulator to approve over £600m in investment over the next five years. But the regulator will only sanction investment spending of £293m.

Bryan Gray, chief executive of Manufacturing Northern Ireland, said: "Competitive electricity costs are vital for the recovery of the manufacturing sector from the present recession.

"Commercial consumers here are already paying some 60% more than their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland for this element of the electricity bill.

"NIE's proposals will make that situation even worse with a significant impact on jobs and prosperity in Northern Ireland.

"In view of the fact NIE's owners ESB, who are a state owned company in the Republic, may be privatised in the near future, questions need to be asked about the motivation for NIE's proposed major investments at this time."


From Belfast Telegraph