Tyrone Utilities Firm Wins Licence

Tyrone utilities firm LCC Power has been granted a licence to supply gas to customers across the north.

It is the latest development for the Cookstown company – best known for supplying coal – which also entered the electricity supply market last year.

The licence covers greater Belfast and the so-called 10 towns area.

It means the company could start to supply gas to homes and businesses in and around Belfast.

The supply of gas in the 10 towns area, which actually includes Antrim, Templepatrick, Ballyclare, Armagh, Tandragee, Ballymena, Broughshane, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Bushmills, Portstewart, Craigavon, Moira, Lurgan, Portadown, Limavady, Derry, Newry, Bess-brook and Warrenpoint, would be restricted to large commercial users until April 2015.

Several companies hold licences, although not all, are presently active in the market.

The granting of a licence to LCC comes amid proposals to extend the gas supply network to the west.

The plans could bring gas to an additional 34,000 and have been supported by around £32 million of public money.

LCC – which began life in 1986 as Lissan Coal Company – is the leading solid fuel importer and distributor in Ireland, handling and delivering domestic and industrial coal at all levels of the supply chain.

However it has branched out in recent years, also operating its own forecourt brand, GO, which has unnamed petrol stations across Ireland.

LCC Power entered the non-domestic electricity supply market in April 2012 and according to figures from the Utility Regulator, gained the most customers in the small and large sectors over the past year.

The latest statistics – which cover the second quarter of 2013 – showed LCC to have 156 of the smallest commercial users on its books and 91 SME customers, which consume more than 70kVa.

It also had nine large energy users (more than 1MW) making up almost 5 per cent of the total market.

Lissan Coal Company was founded by Michael Loughran and two next-generation family members are involved in its operations, which also include a ship-chartering service as well as coal screening and washing.

It imports its products from a number of countries, including South Africa and Colombia, and distributes them throughout Ireland.

In 2005 the company secured a site at Maydown and built its own 88,000-ton capacity oil terminal, which is now the largest independent sea-fed oil importer and distribution terminal in Ireland.

Source: irishnews.com