Bord na Mona plan 80,000 tonne rubbish plant in Portlaoise

Anaerobic Digestion creates gas from rotted waste

Michelle Hogan


Michelle Hogan

Bord na Mona plan 80,000 tonne rubbish plant in Portlaoise

Bord na Mona plan 80,000 tonne rubbish plant in Portlaoise

Bord na Móna is planning to develop a major project in Portlaoise that will use up to 80,000 tonnes of commercial food waste, brown bin waste and animal waste to create gas for power generation.

The company announced the plan as it launched its annual report this week. While no official design has been drawn up, it is understood that the project will be developed at the Coolnamona site in Togher, Portlaoise.

The proposed development could treat up to 80,000 tonnes of “non-hazardous, biodegradable, organic materials per year.”

This could include a combination of commercial food waste, brown bin waste, animal slurries and purpose grown crops, amongst others.

It is proposed to use anaerobic digestion to convert the organic materials into biogas.

This would then be injected into the national gas grid, for supply through the existing gas network, to homes and commercial businesses providing gas equivalent to the heating of 5,500 homes.

According to Bord na Móna, the proposed project will bring significant environmental benefits through the sustainable treatment and conversion of non-hazardous, biodegradable, organic waste materials into a renewable biogas.

The process will also produce a by-product (bio-fertiliser) which the company claims will be suitable for spreading on agricultural land.

This is similar to a plan refused in 2007, when Advanced Environmental Solutions (AES) waste management service, which is now owned by Bord na Móna, applied for planning permission for a plant to treat biodegradeable waste by anaerobic digestion at Kyletalesha.

After two oral hearings and a number of appeals, planning permission was not granted for the Portlaoise plant.

The plan was refused for a number of reasons including failure to align with waste management, planning and renewable energy policy, the location of the site with no advantage for sustainable transport and environmental impact among other issues.