O’Donnell becomes first Gas Networks Ireland Board Member of ENTSOG

Gas Networks Ireland representative elected to the Board of the European Network of gas TSOs

Gas Networks Ireland’s Regulatory Framework Manager, Con O’Donnell, yesterday became the company’s first representative to be appointed to the Board of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG).

Mr O’Donnell’s appointment follows a detailed selection process that culminated in a ratifying vote by the Association’s 45 member companies at its Annual General Assembly in Brussels yesterday.

A Business undergraduate from the recently designated Technical University in Letterkenny and a qualified Chartered Accountant, Mr O’Donnell joins 11 other member country representatives on ENTSOG’s Board, for a three-year term commencing in January 2022.

I’m honoured to be appointed to the Board of ENTSOG on behalf of Gas Networks Ireland and look forward to working closely with my colleagues on the Board to deliver on ENTSOG’s remit, during this key period for the gas industry,” Mr O’Donnell said. 

“There has never been a more critical time to ensure that the key role of Europe’s gas network operators is fully understood and well represented as we work with policy makers to deliver a decarbonised future energy system.”

A proud Donegal native, now living in Cork, Mr O’Donnell has worked for more than 11 years across a range of financial and regulatory roles at Gas Networks Ireland. 

As Regulatory Framework Manager, he has primary responsibility for gas market development and the rulebook which governs the current Irish gas regulatory regime. 

Mr O’Donnell also ensures compliance with gas legislation and licences granted to the company by the respective regulatory authorities in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and leads all Policy and European Affairs engagement.  

“Post Brexit, the Irish gas network is no longer directly connected to another EU Member State, therefore the opportunity to be directly involved at Board level within ENTSOG is timely and will help strengthen Ireland’s footing at EU level on energy matters. 

“Europe’s gas network operators face many diverse and complex challenges, as we aim to decarbonise our networks and meet the ambition of the European Green Deal. 

“In addition, the European Commission’s ongoing gas legislative review brings challenges but also opportunities which we must embrace to ensure we deliver the carbon reduction targets at least cost, for our customers.”

Established in 2009, ENTSOG facilitates and enhances cooperation between gas transmission system operators (TSOs) across European Member States. 

Its purpose is to deliver a pan-European gas market that stimulates cross-border trade and ensures the efficient management and coordinated operation of the European gas network. 

As one of 45 member TSOs*, Gas Networks Ireland works closely with ENTSOG, participating in a range of working groups in the areas of Market, System Development and System Operation. 

Gas Networks Ireland’s Managing Director, Denis O’Sullivan, welcomed Mr O’Donnell’s appointment.

“I would like to congratulate Con on his appointment to the Board of ENTSOG and wish him every success as he begins his term. 

“Having a representative at this level is hugely significant for Ireland, ensuring the Irish gas industry perspective is represented and that we are well placed to further develop key relationships with gas industry colleagues across Europe. 

“Gas Networks Ireland remains committed to working together with ENTSOG in our shared drive towards a competitive, reliable and sustainable future gas network. 

We recognise the enormous scope of work ENTSOG continues to deliver and wish the Association and its new Board continued success as they focus on the future role of gas and decarbonising the gas networks.”

A year ago, another leading European association, Marcogaz, appointed a Vice President from Ireland the first time in its 53-year history. Mr. O’Donnell’s colleague, Liam Nolan, Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Technical Competency and Standards, was unanimously elected to the position at the Marcogaz General Assembly in December 2020.

The respective roles of ENTSOG Board Member and Marcogaz Vice President are not remunerated.  

*From 1 January 2022, ENTSOG’s members will number 42 with the departure of three UK TSOs.