BORD NA MÓNA has announced that up to 430 workers are to be made redundant as it speeds up plans to shift away from peat to renewable energy.
It emerged last week that a proposed restructuring of the company was expected to take place amid plans to decarbonise the semi-state’s business over the next 10 years. It is not yet clear exactly when the redundancies will be made, or over what time period.
However, the company does plan to open a voluntary redundancy programme shortly and has said those changes could affect between 380 and 430 employees.
The announcement comes as the company shifts towards fast-track renewable energy bringing an end to the use of peat for energy by 2028 – two years earlier than previously planned.
In a statement today, chief executive Tom Donnellan said that “while decarbonisation means we must introduce a new structure, it also means confronting some extremely difficult choices”.
“It means that fewer people will be working in peat operations and also managerial and administrative roles across Bord na Móna,” he said.
It was originally believed that around 150 job cuts would be announced. A consultation process with unions has begun, the company has said.
Last week Unite, which is part of the Bord na Móna group of unions, called on Environment Minister Richard Bruton to ensure that workers could access an EU-wide transition fund to help drive investment in community renewal.
A ‘turbulent’ year
Earlier this year, Bord na Móna reported a €6.1 million loss for 2017 after what its chairman described as a “turbulent” period of plant closures and other “difficult decisions”.
The company has consolidated production of its briquette business to one plant in Derrinlough due to declining solid-fuel sales. It plans to develope its land banks for renewable energy projects like wind turbines and biomass production.
Reporting by Cónal Thomas and Peter Bodkin.