Categorized | Biogas Energy, Biomass Energy

Bord na Móna bids to continue operating power plant

Details of the new application for the Edenderry Power Plant in Co Offaly, which was lodged in August, emerged after An Taisce yesterday secured a court order overturning a planning permission for the continued operation of the plant, which employs 180 people.

The permission was quashed by Mr Justice Michael White on foot of his ruling, on October 10, about the adequacy of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) carried out in relation to the plant at Clonbollogue. It argued the environmental effects of extracting the peat as a fuel source for the plant had not been properly assessed in accordance with an EU environmental impact assessment directive.

Mr Justice White found there were possible indirect effects on the environment by using peat from designated bogs to power the station. He ruled the assessment of the environmental impact of the continued operation of plant was too narrow.

He also found that the relevant legislation around the EIA Directive had been misinterpreted, but granted a six-month stay on the order, until the end of April, to allow time for ABP to decide on a new planning application involving a wider environmental impact assessment.

The decision poses a threat to BNM’s two other turf-burning power plants in the midlands on which planning permission runs out in 2019.

Siptu organiser and BNM group of unions secretary John Regan said the High Court decision was “concerning”. However, he explained the union expected a second planning application to be approved next year.

Edenderry was first developed as a peat-fired power plant in 1998 and was purchased by Bord na Móna from German utility E.ON in 2006. It was due to close in December this year. In 2014, it consumed 670,000 tonnes of peat source from Bord na Móna-owned bogs, and 212,000 tonnes of biomass.

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