ESB’s Marina power station facing closure

ESB’s Marina power station facing closure
The power station at the Marina is one of two generating units in Cork set to be decommissioned. Pic Denis Scannell

The ESB is currently in discussions regarding the closure of the Marina power generating station in Cork city.

It is one of two generating units in line for decommissioning in Cork, with one of the generating units at the Aghada station also due to close later this year. The Aghada station itself will remain open, with a number of other generating units still operational afterwards, though.

It is unclear how many jobs will be affected by the changes which are understood to be part of a series of closures nationally.

A spokesperson for ESB confirmed that discussions are ongoing relating to the closure.

“ESB is currently in discussion with the Commission for Regulations of Utilities (CRU) regarding the closure of Marina power generating station in County Cork,” they said.

Commissioned in 1954, the Marina power station has gone through several running regimes since it opened.

Originally a coal and oil-fired station, a gas turbine was added in 1979 following the discovery of natural gas off the southern coast of Cork. In 2009, it was converted to open cycle operation with an output of 90MW.

View of the Marina and Tivoli from top of new ESB pylon in 1952 with the Atlantic Pond and Cork Showgrounds on the right. Pic: Irish Examiner/Evening Echo Archive
View of the Marina and Tivoli from top of new ESB pylon in 1952 with the Atlantic Pond and Cork Showgrounds on the right. Pic: Irish Examiner/Evening Echo Archive

Once the largest producer of power in Ireland, it is now one of the smallest units in ESB’s portfolio, according to the ESB Archives. It now provides ‘flexible and reliable back-up’ for wind power in the Cork and Kerry areas.

While customers are not directly supplied from any specific generating station, an ESB spokesperson confirmed that the Marina station now has a potential output of 85MW, which is sufficient to supply ‘around 200,000 average homes.’

Some 65 people are employed between the two stations at Marina and Aghada.

Bishop Cornelius Lucey and Pa McGrath TD at the official opening of the new ESB power station in the marina in 1955. Pic: Irish Examiner/Evening Echo Archive
Bishop Cornelius Lucey and Pa McGrath TD at the official opening of the new ESB power station in the marina in 1955. Pic: Irish Examiner/Evening Echo Archive

A spokesperson confirmed that the older of two generating units at Aghada is also in line for closure ‘later this year.’

“The station itself is to remain open as there are a number of other generating units still in operation there, including a high-efficiency combined cycle unit,” the spokesperson said.

“The unit to close dates from 1980 and has an output of 258MW.”

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