We aim to deliver a safe, consistently excellent, efficient and cost-effective energy service that benefits all customers. We adhere to policies and practices which are sustainable, aligned with industry best practice, and promote economic growth.
Natural gas is of key strategic importance to the Irish economy, representing 32% of Ireland’s primary energy mix and generating 48% of Ireland’s electricity, peaking at 92% of electricity generation during 2022. Ireland’s gas network is a valuable national asset which will play a major role in achieving a clean energy future in a least cost, safe and secure manner.
Natural gas is the ideal partner for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and the gas network will continue to play a critical role in Ireland’s energy sector. Renewable gas can ensure that Ireland has a robust, renewable and sustainable indigenous energy source as part of our energy mix well into the future. Coupled with the long-term potential of hydrogen gas, the gas network can play a crucial role in supporting Ireland’s delivery of climate change targets.
Investing in our future
With safety as a priority for our assets and operations, we invested €133m in our gas and telecoms network infrastructure with a strong focus on driving growth and on transitioning our gas supply to renewable technologies such as biomethane and hydrogen and delivering programmes to improve the safety and reliability of the network.
The Government has set an increased target of 5.7TWh/yr of biomethane on the national gas network by 2030. During 2022 there has been growth in renewable gas injected into our network, with circa 1% biomethane on our network. In late October we issued a Request for Information (RFI) from biomethane producers. This RFI will identify new and feasible biomethane production projects to supply biomethane to the Irish gas network. This information will be used to prepare plans for gas network developments to facilitate both the most economic delivery of biomethane to our customers and the most economic connections to producers.
Gas Networks Ireland is expected to begin construction of Ireland’s first large-scale renewable gas injection facility next summer. Planning permission for the Central Grid Injection (CGI) facility has already been granted by An Bord Pleanála and Cork County Council. This forms part of the €30 million Green Renewable Agricultural Zero Emissions (GRAZE) renewable gas project. Led by Gas Networks Ireland, the GRAZE project is supported by more than €8.4 million in funding from the Climate Action Fund, as part of the Government’s National Energy Security Framework.
With an increased focus on the need for renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, to replace natural gas in Ireland’s energy mix and enhance Ireland’s security and diversity of supply in light of recent climate reports and the invasion of Ukraine, the establishment of a national Renewable Gas Registry is both timely and critical to the industry’s success. In August 2022, Ireland took another significant step towards meeting its climate action targets, with a formal certification process now in place for renewable gases entering the national network.
Gas Networks Ireland has been appointed as the body responsible for issuing Guarantees of Origin for renewable gases in line with European Union (Renewable Energy) Regulations 2022, which has passed into Irish law. We will issue Guarantees of Origin in accordance with a supervisory framework to be established by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, meaning that producers of renewable gas will be issued with a Guarantee of Origin for every megawatt hour of renewable gas injected into Ireland’s national gas network.Read more
As well as keeping safety as our priority, we strive to improve our network and we actively promote and utilise our Innovation Fund which provides funding to promote and encourage innovative projects in the gas industry with the potential to:
Deliver significant carbon savings
Increase throughput in the gas system
Assist in the transition to a low carbon economy
Provide measurable value to all gas customers
Our network must be repurposed to transport renewable gases, biomethane and hydrogen, at scale and support Ireland’s climate change agenda. In December 2022, Gas Networks Ireland submitted its technical and safety feasibility study report on injecting green hydrogen blends into Irelands gas network which indicated that it will be both safe and feasible to utilise the existing gas network to transport blended hydrogen. However, before injecting hydrogen into the network, further detailed research will be required.Read more about Innovation
Ethics and Integrity
Our reputation and the trust and confidence that our customers, stakeholders and the general public place in us is fundamental to our success. Integrity is key to building that trust. We have created a programme called “Doing the Right Thing” to help all employees understand and recognise the importance of the “Integrity” value.
Employees are trained to ensure that any business decision made is:
- In line with company values
- In line with company policy
- The right thing to do
As part of the initiative, guidance booklets are issued to employees on key ethics related policies with annual training updates and quarterly team integrity conversations.
We delivered a satisfactory financial performance during 2022, particularly in the context of significant inflationary cost pressures mainly as a result of energy uncertainty linked to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. We recorded a Profit before Tax of €68m and had undrawn committed facilities of €312m and €149m of cash and cash equivalents at December 31st 2022.
This will allow us to continue funding future investment in the gas network. Additionally, when working with debt holders and credit rating agencies, we continue to commit to the climate change agenda and the targets we have set ourselves to 2050.
We maintained our investment grade credit ratings with Moody’s and S&P in 2022. This strong credit rating enables Gas Networks Ireland to access a wide range of funding sources and ensures its continued access to competitively priced funding.
- Return to the Shareholder:
In 2022 we supported Ireland’s economy by making a dividend payment of €30m to the Exchequer
1 — 4
We paid out €15.7m to investors in interest payments
2 — 4
- State support:
We paid €11.7m to the Irish & UK governments and regulators in tax, rates and levies
3 — 4
We paid €61.5m to employees in 2022
4 — 4
We are committed to complying fully with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in meeting our tax compliance and reporting responsibilities. We fulfil our corporate social responsibility obligations by paying appropriate taxes in compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the laws and regulations in both Ireland and the UK. Ireland and the UK are the primary locations where we operate and further detail on our subsidiaries, primary activities and the taxes paid by our business are included in the Gas Networks Ireland financial statements available on our website.
Gas Networks Ireland ensures environmental and sustainability requirements are embedded in the procurement processes right through to delivery stage of the contract. For example, since 2011, our main/larger contractors are required to provide us with monthly reports on their sustainability performance against a range of sustainability KPIs which include, waste management, carbon management and energy use.
Our main third-party contracts have been designed to deliver sustainability and environmental best practice throughout project lifecycle. Where contractors outperform set KPIs, the financial terms of the contract contain provisions to allow for additional performance awards to be made. Similarly, KPI underperformance can result in the imposition of financial performance adjustments. As part of the tendering process in 2020/2021 when procuring our two new main contractors, we ensured our enhanced Sustainability Strategy objectives were key to the tender and contract requirements. In addition to waste data management, energy and carbon performance KPIs we have now also included new more challenging requirements around waste reduction targets, Biodiversity Enhancement Planning, Green Sustainable Procurement Planning, Sustainability Planning, Community Programmes, Carbon Emissions Management as part of our new contracts.
There are no significant variations in the above disclosures and all data was compiled using internal data management systems.Read more about supply chain