A public hearing is to get under way today to consider a planning application for a €300 million 325-megawatt gas-power station in Ferbane, Co Offaly.
An application for the plant, which will be located on the old ESB Ferbane power station was lodged with An Bord Pleanála by Tullamore-based firm Lumcloon Energy in August 2009.
The plant will consist of two generating units – a flexible unit consisting of two gas turbines and one steam turbine and a smaller simple-cycle unit. The simple-cycle unit is a reserve/peaking unit to support wind energy power plants in the event of a rapid fall-off in wind generation.
Lumcloon Energy says the plant will also be the first to use a new, more efficient design for condensing steam produced at the plant back into water.
The proposed plant has been specifically designed to support the Government’s plans to develop renewable energy.
If given the go-ahead, the plant would create 500 jobs during construction and a further 50 permanent positions on completion.
Work on the site is projected to begin this year with power from the plant be available to the national grid from the first half of 2012.
Over 80 submissions have been made to Offaly County Council and An Bord Pleanála over the plant.
An Bord Pleanála will consider all submissions and give its decision on March 10th.