€20m investment in new Ireland HQ

Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources today officially opened SSE plc’s new landmark corporate headquarters and customer service centre for Ireland. SSE Red Oak South, located in the IDA’s South County Business Park near Leopardstown, Co. Dublin, will be home to 650 of SSE’s 900 permanent employees in Ireland. The acquisition and fit-out of this high profile building represents a total investment by SSE of around €20 million.

The Minister was accompanied by Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE plc Chief Executive, alongside invited guests including the British Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Dominick Chilcott.

SSE’s €20m investment at Red Oak is only the latest vote of confidence by the FTSE Top 50 listed company in the Irish economy. Since it first entered the Irish energy market in 2008 with the acquisition of renewable energy developer Airtricity, SSE plc has invested €2 billion into the future of Irish energy or just over €1m every day for the last five years.

SSE’s €2bn investment not only confirms the company as the country’s second largest energy provider, supplying over 830,000 gas and electricity customers through its retail brand Airtricity, but also as the largest single overseas direct investor into the Irish economy in the last five years.

In the same period, SSE has created over 1,500 Irish jobs working across SSE’s range of energy generation, energy retail, street lighting and energy services businesses here.

Over 600 of these 1,500-plus jobs are currently working on the construction of the 461MW gas-fired electricity generation unit at Great Island, Co. Wexford due to be commissioned in 2014. The project, which will help further decarbonise energy generation in Ireland, is one of the largest infrastructural projects currently under construction on the island and is the single largest capital project in power generation that SSE is currently developing in either the UK or Ireland.

Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, said:“I am pleased to be here today to celebrate the acquisition of SSE’s new corporate headquarters in Ireland. I would like to acknowledge the company’s continued commitment to and confidence in the Irish economy, as evidenced by its investment here in recent years and its creation of over 1,500 jobs. The presence of independent players such as SSE is central to ensuring competition in both domestic and business markets.”

SSE Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said:“We are focused on delivering for customers. This means realising the benefits that competition, better customer service and innovation bring.  We are also very proud to continue delivering on our commitment to invest here and create employment. Over a relatively short period of time, SSE’s €1million daily investment now means we are Ireland’s second largest energy generation and supply business.

“This growth has in large part been enabled by our confidence as an investor in the Irish energy market, supported by a stable policy and regulatory environment, and by Irish steadfastness in addressing economic challenges in order to re-emerge as a growth-led economy.

“Our success is also a product of the commitment and passion of our Irish team, who drive our development and investment strategy here. Through our team, SSE is not only building a sustainable business in Ireland that’s providing the energy our customers need but we’re also innovating daily to provide exciting and excellent new solutions that are transforming how we generate, deliver and service our energy customers.”

“There is great excitement around SSE’s business in Ireland and the teamwork that drives that will power our continued growth in Ireland. As we move in to our new home, the aptly named Red Oak, you could say we have transformed the acorn planted in Ireland five years ago in to the solid flourishing business we have today.”

You can read Alistair’s blog here about SSE’s growth in Ireland from small acorns to large ‘Red Oaks’.