Former Larne resident takes up top Australian energy post

A FORMER Larne resident has made it to the very top in the energy business in Australia.

Malcolm Eccles, 38, was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of Basslink Pty Ltd in Melbourne - a $1.2b utility business that owns and operates the Basslink HVDC link which connects the electricity transmission systems of Tasmania to Victoria.

The company also has other utility interests and some telecoms interests in Australia.

Malcolm was appointed CEO in December 2007 after a few months as acting CEO. He had previously been the company’s Operations Director.

Originally from west Cumbria in the north of England, Malcolm arrived in the Larne area in 2001 to manage the maintenance operations at the Moyle Interconnector in Islandmagee for his employer Siemens Power Services. He lived in Ballygally from 2001 until 2003, then moved into Larne in 2003, where he remained living until he left the area in 2005.

He met his wife Sharon, originally from Belfast, in 2003 and they married in 2005. Sharon is an IT project manager working for one of Australia’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

The role of CEO also includes a position on the board of directors for Basslink Pty Ltd. Malcolm is also involved with CitySpring Infrastructure Trust in an advisory capacity on future acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly specialising in the energy sector.

Malcolm is also a director of the International Cable Protection Committee, a global organisation representing marine cable system owners. He is also a member of CIGRE (international council on large electric systems) and sits on the Australasian panel for HVDC systems and power electronics. He is a regular speaker at utility and energy conferences and seminars held worldwide.

Malcom and Sharon plan to stop off in Northern Ireland this spring during a trip to Iceland, where Malcolm is due to take part in an international conference.