Saturday 23 February 2008

Locals angry over €130m Ringaskiddy waste plant proposal

A COMMUNITY group has reacted angrily to an announcement that Indaver Ireland is seeking planning permission for a €130 million incinerator for household and commercial waste.

Indaver said it had decided to bypass Cork County Council's planning office and instead lodge the application with An Bord Pleanála for the project at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

The company has submitted a pre-consultation application for the incinerator, which will burn 100,000 tonnes of waste per annum, to the Strategic Infrastructure Development section of An Bord Pleanála.

Indaver believes the incinerator represents a piece of national infrastructure and the application should therefore be considered by An Bord Pleanála rather than the local authority.

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment said the Indaver move was designed to bypass local objections.

"It is quite depressing from the community's perspective. We can make a submission to An Bord Pleanála and I presume we will. We are angry about this. Indaver has never sought to seriously engage with the local community," said an alliance spokesman.

The company has already been granted planning permission for a 100,000 ton per year hazardous waste incinerator in Ringaskiddy and intends to build the other incinerator close to this site.

Indaver said it intends to supply local industries with renewable energy, which will be a byproduct of the incineration process.

The company's project director Jackie Keaney said the development of alternative treatment capacity for residual municipal waste has become critical as Ireland approaches its first landfill diversion target in 2010.

"Our proposed development will help implement Irish waste policy to divert biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. Environmental Protection Agency waste figures indicate that we must divert over 33% of residual waste currently going to landfill by 2010, and over 55% by 2013. EPA reports also warn that municipal waste to landfill is on the increase and we must put in place as soon as possible alternative waste facilities to treat this waste," said Ms Keaney.

She said the combined waste-to-energy facility will produce more than 60 megawatts of steam, which can be used in a combined heat and power plant to generate electricity and steam or hot water.

Indaver believes the location of the facility on the Ringaskiddy peninsula is ideal, because it will be able to provide this steam or hot water to the local Pharmachem industry through a district heating network.

Sean O'Riordan
Irish Examiner

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