The World Geothermal Congress was held in Reykjavik at the end of October. The conference had been postponed for over a year due to the Covid pandemic, and as such was a smaller affair than usual. The general theme of the plenary sessions was how geothermal can scale up and help mitigate the global climate crisis.
Geoscience Ireland (GI) Business Development Director, Sean Finlay, featured in last weekends Sunday Business Post, discussing the importance of a reliable energy supply in Ireland as the country receives more and more inward investment.
A Policy Review of the Geoscience Ireland business cluster by Indecon International Economic Consultants (Indecon) for Department of Environment, Climate and Communications was launched today.
Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) hosted a half day Workshop on Geothermal Energy on 19th October. Policy and regulatory issues were addressed by Philip Nugent and Eoin Deegan of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). They outlined that legislation is under preparation for public consultation later in the year with a view to introducing a Geothermal Bill in Q3 of 2022.
Welcoming participants to this years IMW today, Minister Leo Varadkar TD noted the growing confidence by Irish exporters in Ireland’s economic recovery as shown by a recent survey by Enterprise Ireland.
Despite the impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, more than half of exporting businesses here have seen their exports increase this year compared to last year . 91% expect to see their sales rise again next year.The key growth markets identified by client companies are North America, Europe and the UK.
The survey was carried out ahead of Enterprise Ireland’s International Markets, which will see over 700 companies meet virtually with 140 market advisors from 40 overseas offices, during over 1600 individual meetings over five days.
Speaking at the event, Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said;
“It is really encouraging to see our research pointing to business optimism and this is testament to the resilience and performance of Irish exporters despite Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“So far in 2021, we have seen these companies win a total of 965 new contracts and establish 375 new overseas presences against that backdrop of what are still difficult trading conditions.”
“With global recovery, there are significant opportunities for Irish companies to accelerate their growth internationally and International Markets Week will play a critical role in driving this agenda.”
During a Q&A with Richard Curran, Minister Varadkar noted that Brexit issues will be with us for well into the future, as will cost and competitiveness challenges. He expressed confidence that energy supply problems should be alleviated with the reopening of two natural gas plants later this month.He supported EI’s focus on EU, UK GCC and North American markets , noting recent and forthcoming Trade Missions to those markets.
iQuest, on behalf of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and the Trade Team at the British Embassy in Dublin, facilitated a virtual Trade Mission on 23rd September. Moderated by Ivan Yates, the seminar covered four main topics, all of which present challenges and opportunities;
- Digital Innovation
- Green Construction
- Impacts of Brexit and Covid.
- Ben Hancock, Managing Director, Oscar Acoustics
- Dr. Ruth Kerrigan, COO, Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd.
- Niall McCamphill, Client Development Manager, Dowds Group
- Sue Paton, Sales and Commercial Director, Morgan Marine Ltd.
- Jim Barrett, Sales Director, Diatec
- David Bennett, UK & Ireland Regional Director, Topcon Positioning
- Tom Boland, Global Head of Digital Construction, Zutec
- Shaun Bonner, Sales Director, Etag
- John Devereaux, Supply Chain Director – Ireland & Europe, John Sisk and Son Ltd
- Sean Finlay, Business Development Director, Geoscience Ireland,
Photo: Left to right, Leo Clancy , Xavier Piechaczyk, Minister Leo Varadkar, Mark Foley, Ambassador Patricia O Brien
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar led Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to France on Tuesday, 7th September. The trade mission to Paris supported the accelerated export-led recovery of Irish businesses in the Eurozone.
This was the first in-person trade mission undertaken by Enterprise Ireland following the onset of Covid-19.
Meetings took place with Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) and EirGrid, partners in the Celtic Interconnector project and with representatives from Le Grand Paris project, the largest transport and infrastructure project in Europe focused on mobility, sustainability and urban development in the Ile de France region.
Tánaiste also met with a number of IDA Ireland existing and target client companies during the mission from the financial, telecommunications, insurance and e-commerce sectors. Leo Clancy CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Mary Buckley Director of the Industrial Development Authority and Mark Foley CEO of Eirgrid were among the delegation.
Sean Finlay, Director of Geoscience Ireland(GI), accompanied the delegation on the trip to Paris. GI company GDGEO was also represented by Richard Pike and Louis Laposture.
The 575km Celtic Interconnector is an important part of Ireland’s climate action policies. It will provide reliable back up power to a national grid increasingly using renewable energy. Final consents for the project are expected in Q3 2022. Construction is planned for 2024 with transmission staring in early 2027. Geological Survey Ireland through its Infomar programme has previously provided vital bathymetric data for the project. Other Irish companies attending were Suir Engineering and Techworks Marine.
The SGP Paris Metro is a €35Bn project involving the building of 200km of new metro lines of which 180km are underground. About 60km have already been completed. Reuse and recycling of materials derived from tunnelling is a major challenge. The target is to reuse 70% ; at present 47% is being reused. GI continues to engage with SGP on this and on geotechnical issues. Companies with Irish connections involved in the SGP project are Ecocem, Eqiom and Cubis.
Another project introduced was HAROPA, a unified port development authority for La Harve and the Seine.
Commenting on the event, Sean Finlay said
“The Trade Mission to Paris was a very welcome return to the all-important face to face engagements which are an integral and vital part of winning international business. Enterprise Ireland confirmed its ability to broker high level contacts with three very important French infrastructure projects form which Ireland can benefit, contribute and learn”.
A survey of 41 members of the Geoscience Ireland (GI) business cluster reveals a revenue for 2020 of € 1.237BN as compared to €1.23BN for 2019. Revenue from operations outside the Republic of Ireland was down somewhat to €408M, accounting for 33% of total revenue (2019= 41%).
Employment at mid-year 2021 was up to 4,775 from 4,701 in early 2020. Most GI member companies report adoption of hybrid working patterns for non-site staff, while awaiting government guidelines on full resumption in office settings.
Commenting on the results, Sean Finlay, Business Development Director of Geoscience Ireland said;
“The impacts of Covid 19 during 2020 on GI members were not as severe as might have been expected. Employment levels in 2021 are returning to those of 2019. This is a positive trend that is expected to continue as projects are resumed and infrastructure spending is increased, leading to economic recovery.
The results today reflect the resilience of the geoscience sector. One major obstacle remains i.e. travel to overseas projects; this is slowly being addressed and will allow a fuller recovery later in the year. Customs issues with the temporary import/export of equipment to and from the UK are also causing some delays and inconvenience. ”
Geoscience Ireland (GI) is a business cluster that assists over 40 member companies in winning business overseas.
The GI network of companies delivers integrated expertise in water, minerals, environmental and infrastructure development to clients in over 80 countries. Our multi-disciplinary team provides design, consultancy and contracting services to multilateral agencies, governments and companies in the private sector.
GI is supported by Geological Survey Ireland (a division of Dept. of The Environment, Climate and Communications), Enterprise Ireland and the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Congratulations to the ACEI Member Firms who have been shortlisted in this year’s Engineering Excellence Awards.
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