Friday 30 May 2008

Decision on bioenergy waste plant delayed

PROMOTERS of a bio-energy plant which would be located close to champion trainer Aidan O’Brien’s south Tipperary base will have to wait until late July for a planning decision.

An Bord Pleanála was due to make a ruling this month on the application by Green Organics Energy for the €100 million plant, which would take a large portion of Irish meat factories’ slaughterhouse waste, on a site near Rosegreen, between Clonmel and Cashel.

However, the volume of evidence and documents generated by a two-week oral hearing earlier in the year, as well as up to 800 submissions, has lengthened the time involved in making a decision.

A spokesperson for An Bord Pleanála said yesterday that it will now be the end of July at the earliest before a judgement can be made on the application.

“There’s a lot of work to be done in the case so it has been put back,” he said.

There has already been speculation that the process could stretch into the autumn.

South Tipperary County Council has already rejected the application for the animal by-products bio-energy plant and the oral hearing conducted by Derek Daly was called after appeals to the board.

Among hundreds of objectors are Aidan O’Brien and his wife Anne-Marie O’Brien, Coolmore Stud, South Tipperary for Clean Industry, some local politicians, a local school and residents’ groups.

The objectors say the plant would generate too much traffic, lead to odours as was the case when an animal waste rendering operation was carried out previously on the site and threaten local water sources.

Aidan O’Brien also told the hearing that it would be “the end of Ballydoyle” as a thoroughbred training establishment if the site, two miles from his base, was used for such a facility.

However, Green Organics Energy — a consortium made up of site-owners Avglade, waste experts Bioverda Ltd and Dawn Meats — say that such a plant is necessary if Ireland is to deal with waste from slaughterhouses into the future, rather than exporting it.

The facility would use the processing of the waste to generate bioenergy, which would feed into the national grid, and biodiesel, with 80% of the raw materials coming from the country’s meat industry.

Irish Times

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