Kilroot power deal to 'stabilise Northern Ireland electricity supply,' says AES - threat to 85 jobs
A new deal to allow Northern Ireland energy supplier AES to transfer some operations to its Kilroot power plant will ensure the stability of electricity supply, the company said.
While the deal will preserve around 180 jobs, it's understood 85 people are facing redundancy.
Kilroot has been granted a one-year long generating contract after negotiations with the NI Utility Regulator.
Under the agreement Operator AES - the US energy giant which owns Ballylumford and Kilroot power stations - will reduce output at the Ballylumford plant and move it to Kilroot.
The company is to begin discussions with employees and trade union officials on mitigating compulsory redundancies. It stressed it did not want to pre-empt the process and discuss the number of positions under threat.
Last year AES lost out on a capacity auction run by network owner EirGrid in the Republic, and its counterpart SONI in NI.
Friday's announcement is a reprieve for the workers at Kilroot, where AES previously said as many as 250 jobs were at risk.
President of AES Eurasia Mark Green said: "For more than 20 years AES has provided safe and reliable energy to Northern Ireland while demonstrating operational and safety excellence.
"The system support services agreement awarded to AES Kilroot Power Limited shows the importance of the facilities we are operating. We are happy that both the Utility Regulator and SONI continue to see AES UK & Ireland as a reliable partner.”
Serhiy Zuyev, president of AES UK & Ireland added: “The portfolio restructuring at AES in Northern Ireland will have an impact on the organisation structure across both Ballylumford and Kilroot plants.
"Management will immediately enter into consultation with union representatives on how that process will be managed to mitigate compulsory redundancies where possible.
"I would like to thank our people, contractors and suppliers for their patience, diligence and continued commitment as we continue to operate Kilroot and Ballylumford, securing safe and reliable energy for the people of Northern Ireland and supporting the local economy.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital