An Bord Pleanála has approved an application for a 350 megawatt gas fired power plant in Co Offaly.
Lumcloon Energy, the private consortium behind the project, expects to create 500 jobs during construction and up to 50 permanent jobs when the plant is completed.
The €350 million gas fired power plant, planned at the site of an old peat power plant at Lumcloon near Ferbane, will be backed up by wind energy.
Spokesman for Lumcloon Energy, Mr John Gallagher expressed his delight at the decision. He said it wouldn’t have been easy without local support.
“There was no specific objection to Lumcloon which I think is virtually unique to a project like this,” he explained. With construction expected to begin around the end of 2010 the Taoiseach has already been asked to turn the sod, he revealed.