ESB – Capturing run-off waste water for recycling and return




Company Description:

Ireland’s leading Energy Provider.


Business Issue:

In 2008, Moneypoint Generation Station (Ireland’s only coal burning station) brought the MERP (Moneypoint Environmental Retrofit Project) online to reduce NOx and SOx emissions. This significantly increased raw water consumption for the site.

Industrial grade or “grey” water is required for both the wet ash handling plant boilers and for the spray water used for flue gas abatement.  Until recently, the station had only one source of water available – the town drinking water supplied by Clare County Council, resulting in a significant cost to ESB and an unsustainable use of a natural resource.

Only 50% of the water used in Moneypoint needs to be of drinking water quality, with the remainder required to be of “grey” water standard only.


Solution Applied:

The Moneypoint Water Recycling Project commenced in 2010 by identifying potential sources to capture run-off, waste water and drainage systems for recycling and return to the process.

Phase 1 saw the installation of a pump system for recycling station drainage back to the Wet Ash transportation system.  Phase 2 looked at capturing run-off water around the site, including rainwater collection from the coal-yard and putting in place a system to recycle it.

Collectively, these recycling innovations will reduce water usage by half a million m3 of water to the station since the project began.  This has resulted in significant savings in the use of raw water, which reduces demands on the local Clare County Council water infrastructure.


Company Benefits:

According to John Wall, Station Chemist, Moneypoint, “from an economic and sustainability perspective, the water recycling project has been a great success, both for ESB and for Clare County Council.”


Stakeholder Benefits:

Not only does the success of the project result in savings for ESB, it relieves pressure on the local council in relation to meeting the water needs of the county, both in terms of water supply and chemical requirements for the treatment process.



This was a very significant project within the station and bringing all stakeholders on board from the outset was a key to achieving the support and commitment required to see it through.


Further Information:

Kristin Quinn, Corporate Responsibility Manager.  Email: