May 19, 2020

ESB International opens Johannesburg hub

ESB International
engineering consultancy
Bizclik Editor
3 min
ESB International opens Johannesburg hub

ESB International (ESBI), the global engineering consultancy, today announced that in response to business growth it is establishing an official presence in South Africa with the opening of a new office in Johannesburg.

An official opening ceremony was held today, attended by Minister Joe Costello, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who was in the region on an Enterprise Ireland trade mission. Paul Farrell, Business Development Manager for ESB International in Africa hosted the event.

ESBI has been operating in the region since the late 1990’s, in a market that has an underdeveloped power infrastructure and often an unreliable supply.

 In recent times, the company has seen strong demand and growth for its engineering consultancy services and the office will act as a hub for ESBI's operations in all of Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa.

 ESBI has already worked on a number of strategic projects for the South African energy company, ESKOM, and a number of other power utilities in South Africa over the past five years.

 ESBI has been providing energy sector consultancy services on a $206 million energy project in Tanzania, and has completed or currently has projects underway in countries including: Lesotho; Mozambique; Malawi; Rwanda; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Nigeria; Namibia; Botswana; Benin; Burundi; Cameroon; Gambia; Ghana; and Kenya.

Commenting on ESBI’s new office Ollie Brogan, Managing Director, ESB International, said: “We are very excited to be strengthening our presence in South Africa with this new office, which highlights our commitment to this key market and our goal to provide innovative solutions to the power sector internationally. 

“We are seeing significant business opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, as countries aim to improve the reliability and quality of their electricity supply and infrastructure.”

 He added: “Establishing a secure and reliable energy supply is a big challenge but is essential for sustainable economic growth and improving the quality of lives of the people in the region. We have a solid track record in delivering large scale projects and our goal is to help our customers minimise project risks and optimise the commercial aspects of their power asset.” 

Commenting on ESB International’s new office, Minister Joe Costello said: “Enterprise Ireland’s office in Johannesburg will support Irish companies in growing their trade relationships and export sales in South Africa and across the Sub-Saharan region. There are many opportunities for Irish companies here, and it is great to see ESBI taking the next step and solidifying its presence here.”

The new office will be headed by Paul Farrell, Business Development Manager for ESB International in Africa, who has over 30 years of experience in the Power Industry, 12 years of which was working in South Africa. He will be supported by a team of engineers. ESB International has the unique advantage of being part of the modern utility ESB which means that the team in South Africa can draw on a sizeable pool of experts who operate and service ESB's power portfolio.

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Jun 11, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve, in terms of sustainability and global trade

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


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