Bord na Móna bucked the trend of loss-making businesses when it announced its annual results this week, showing operating profits of €23 million compared to €23.8 million for 2009. The company, which employs some 2,000 staff nationwide and which closed its peat burning plant in Bellacorick in favour of wind energy development in recent years has now highlighted the development in Belmullet of the biggest onshore windfarm in Ireland as one of the highlights of its ongoing expansion plans.
“Last year we lodged two new planning applications to expand our wind energy portfolio by 120 MW and last week received planning permission for a €120 million 80 MW wind farm at Mount Lucas in Offaly. Progress is also being been made on our 300 MW Oweninny wind farm at Bellacorick, Co Mayo, which will be the biggest onshore wind farm in Ireland. We advanced our co-fuelling agenda during the year with 7.8 per cent of biomass feedstock replacing peat into our Edenderry power station. This is part of our ongoing strategy to ensure the plant will be less peat dependent in the future,” a company spokesperson stated.
Turnover for Bord na Mona in 2010 amounted to €384 million, marginally down four per cent compared to €401.5 million in 2008/2009. Operating profits as a percentage of turnover stood at six per cent compared to 5.9 per cent the previous year, while a dividend of €5 million was paid to shareholders.
“These figures reflect a very solid performance for Bord na Móna in a challenging business environment,” said Gabriel D’Arcy, chief executive officer of Bord na Móna. “Despite the unprecedented weather impact on our feedstock supply and stock losses due to severe flooding we managed to produce a result in line with our expectations. Overall our 2009/10 results support our strategic decision to diversify the business of Bord na Móna away from a reliance on peat.”
On the environmental front Bord na Móna has recently won some important new contracts in Hong Kong, Paris, the UK, and Italy for its market-leading environmental technology and is now a global leader in removing odour and emissions from waste water and solid waste treatment plants using biological techniques. Bord na Móna has completed some 600 installations in four continents with patented technologies using peat and seashells.
Fuel sales in 2009/10 were also boosted by the harsh winter conditions.
“I am pleased to report that the outlook for 2010 is shaping up well,” Mr D’Arcy added. “We are making progress on a number of potential new investment opportunities in our existing core business and in some new green technology areas. Innovation will continue to be the key enabler of our diversification and growth ambitions”.