Coillte Enterprise

Coillte Enterprise is the venturing arm of the Coillte Group, which seeks to identify new business opportunities and to extract value from the Group’s broad asset base. It comprises the Group’s interests in land sales and development, telecommunications masts, renewable energy, Coillte Nurseries, Irish Hardwoods and Coillte Training and Safety Services.

The difficult economic environment significantly impacted our property sales and property development businesses in 2009 with a significant reduction in the number of transactions and prices achieved relative to previous years.

However we made significant progress in relation to our strategic objectives relating to adding value to our land assets.

Specifically, the foundations for delivering major added value from our energy portfolio were laid in 2009 through the recruitment of a Director of Energy, the appointment of consultants for two Coillte projects with grid connection offers under the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) Gate 3 process, progressing the Cloosh Valley Gate 3 project and developing a robust execution plan for our three Gate 3 Projects with Hibernian Wind Power (HWP).

We completed the sale of our Knockacummer windfarm site in Co. Cork to SWS Energy and work was also advanced on developing a new pipeline for additional sales relating to Gate 3 projects which will deliver significant revenue in the next five years.

In the latter part of 2009 we made significant progress in advancing a major initiative in relation to procuring planning consent for next generation Nursing Care Facilities in five counties, which will add significant value to our land bank.

Coillte is making a substantial contribution to the Government’s National Broadband Scheme Project through the provision of 100 mast sites and €4 million in capital investment. By end 2009, 35 Coillte owned sites were in operation providing a broadband solution for customers in rural areas. This contract marks a significant expansion of Coillte’s business and positions us as a major provider of telecoms mast infrastructure in Ireland.

The appointment of a technology partner to work with Coillte on developing sustainable biomass energy heat solutions for industry in 2010 will enable the Group to progress its biomass strategy.

The voluntary early retirement process has enabled critical cost reductions in Nurseries and Wood Products as the first stage in developing a sustainable business model for these businesses.

We have also developed a prototype model for a Carbon offset product based on Forestry which informed the Irish Government’s position in the Copenhagen Climate Change negotiations.

Outlook for 2010

The business environment for Coillte Enterprise continues to be very difficult with the lack of funding for property development, falling land and property prices and a decline in infrastructure development. Progress in relation to Gate 3 wind farm projects is contingent on formal grid connection offers and the timing of these offers is critical to our development programme. In our nurseries business the low level of afforestation being achieved under the national programme continues to impact on Nurseries’ plant sales.

Coillte Enterprise will focus on achieving land sales and on the development of our portfolio of business opportunities in the wind energy and renewable heat businesses with specific focus on driving value from those sites with grid connection offers. Coillte plans to submit seven planning applications in seven counties in Ireland in 2010 which will create the platform to deliver substantial value to the Coillte estate beyond 2010.

Dublin Mountains Partnership — Rambler Bus

Minister Killeen with Karen Woods of DMP.

Given the distinctive location of the Dublin Mountains at the edge of our capital city, the Dublin Mountains Partnership has a strategic role in developing rural recreation for the benefit of local communities and visitors alike.

2009 saw the arrival of the “Dublin Mountaineer” rambler bus, a new service, linking the city with the Dublin Mountains and forest recreation areas. The service was officially launched in July 2009 by Minister Tony Killeen, then Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, and now Minster for Defence.