US energy giant Covanta has said it plans to raise €2.2 billion from which it hopes to begin construction of the controversial Poolbeg incinerator as early as next year.
The move comes despite the company not having finalised an agreementwithDublin City Council over the supply ofmunicipal waste to burn at the 600,000-tonne facility, The Sunday Business Post understands. A spokesman for the New Jersey-based company told an industry conference in Birmingham last month that the firm expected to begin construction on the plant in Ringsend by early 2012.
The new start date would be considerably sooner than industry experts had expected. ‘‘We are taking forward six EfW(energy fromwaste) plant projects in the UK and one in Ireland for which we need a combined total of »2bn in investment,€ a spokesperson said. ‘‘The first project is the Poolbeg Peninsula, Dublin EfW plant that wil l treat 600,000 tonnes of waste per annum.We aim to secure financing by the end of this year to start construction by early 2012.€
Covanta said it had advisers in place for the Dublin project. From the €2.2 billion raised, Covanta anticipated that the EfWplants will cost between €220mand €540m each. It is likely the announcement has come as a surprise to the firm’s joint partner in the project, Dublin City Council. The local authority told this newspaper that it was ‘‘exhorting Covanta continuously to proceed with construction of the waste-to-energy project as quickly as possible’’.
‘‘The 2013 and 2016 EU diversion of waste from landfill targets are rapidly approaching, which makes the Poolbeg facilitymore urgent than ever,€ a spokesperson for the council said.
Sunday Business Post