THE START of construction work on billionaire Seán Quinn's proposed new €390m power station in Co Louth has been postponed due to delays in securing a licence from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA was meant to issue a proposed determination on the project in February but the ruling only appeared last week after the agency twice extended its deliberations.
Although the EPA has now indicated that the Quinn Group will be granted a licence for the gas-fired station, the process is likely to drag on for several months, particularly if an objector seeks an oral hearing into the EPA's ruling.
The delays mean Quinn is unlikely to be able to achieve his initial goal of commissioning the plant by the end of 2010. Quinn had intended to start building the station, which will produce 445 megawatts of electricity, this spring.
Despite recent estimates that Quinn's personal fortune declined by almost 40% last year, the Quinn Group told the Sunday Tribune that construction work would begin as soon as it had secured the EPA licence. "The group remains of the view that the power sector is an important strategic area to be involved in," said a spokesman.