Tendering for ESB Contracts: How does it work?

All ESB contracts adhere to applicable procurement law and the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. At ESB, we procure goods and services in a number of ways;

  • ESB’s standard procurement practice is competitive tendering or other forms of open competition. Our procurement procedures are in place to ensure openness to all compliant offers, non-discriminatory award procedures, transparency and fairness in dealing with suppliers.
  • Where technical considerations allow, we favour the use of functional and performance-based specifications, supported by international/European standards.

Contracts above the EU Threshold

The current limits for contracts above the monetary thresholds as specified by the Utilities Directive are:

  • Supply, Services and Design Contracts: €418,000
  • Works Contracts: €5,225,000

The following approaches for Contracts above the EU Threshold are adopted:

Call for Competition

This is our general approach for ESB project-based procurement, such as the construction of a power station or major IT system. Projects are advertised through the Official Journal of the European Union. The Official Journal's public procurement website, Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), should be reviewed to keep abreast of all upcoming opportunities.

Supply Line

ESB’s qualification system is Supply-Line - a dedicated vendor registration system operated by Achilles Procurement Services for ESB. ESB Generation & Wholesale Markets, ESB Networks, ESB Business Services Centre, Electric Ireland and other contracting entities use Supply-Line. We use ESB’s Supply-Line to:

  • Register suppliers 
  • As a source for tender lists when awarding major procurement contracts above the EU thresholds

You can contact the relevant ESB procurement personnel to see if your product area requires registration with Supply-Line. Find out more about public procurement on the European Commission’s website here.   

Contracts below the EU Threshold 

For contracts less than EU threshold, our standard procedure is competitive tending, unless otherwise covered by our procurement procedures.

Our preferred method for acquiring and paying for low value items is the Corporate Procurement Card (CPC). Our CPC services are provided by Ulster Bank. Vendors are encouraged to adopt the latest credit card technology (Level 2 terminals) to increase business opportunities.

Terms & conditions

A copy of ESB conditions for purchase of materials and/or services can be assessed by downloading the document below. Other forms of contract may also be used depending on the nature of the purchase.