5 November 2002 – Ireland’s ESB International (ESBI) and ESB National Grid, shortly to become EirGrid, together with their sub-contracting partner Accenture, have been selected as preferred bidder in the US for the SeTrans Regional Transmission Organisation (RTO).

ESB said on Friday it had won a five-year contract to manage the regional power grid, which would generate revenues of $150m a year.

The contract will see the consortium act as system and market operator in the Southeast including Georgia Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana together with parts of Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, Texas and Florida.

State-owned ESB’s consortium will manage a system with over 85 000km of transmission lines and 73 000 MW of power capacity in a region that covers ten per cent of US electricity sales.

The contract, won against competition from ten other operators, would involve management of assets worth $9bn, ESB said in a statement.

The project will have a capital base of between $150-200m and annual revenue of approximately $150m over the five-year contract.

“This is a huge vote of confidence for ESB and EirGrid,” ESB Chief Executive Padraig McManus said, adding that international business was key to ESB’s future.

The Managing Director of ESB National Grid, Kieran O’Brien said, “Managing electricity transmission systems abroad is a natural extension of the role of ESB National Grid in Ireland”. O’Brien, who is Chief Executive Designate of EirGrid continued, “It is an endorsement of the capabilities of, and world-class expertise in, the Irish electricity transmission industry to have been selected for this prestigious role”.

ESB, which employs around 850 people in the Irish republic, is already involved in projects in Syria, Bahrain, Spain, Nigeria, Britain and Vietnam.