Portlaoise renewable gas plant due for planning decision

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Portlaoise renewable gas power plant due for planning decision

Plan for the renewable gas facility on bogland near Portlaoise

A decision is imminent on whether a renewable gas plant can be built on the outskirts of Portlaoise.

Bord na Móna is seeking to build the new plant on bogland in Cúl na Móna near the M7 motorway.

A decision is due by Tuesday January 5 from Laois County Council. The application received over 260 submissions from the public in objection to it.

Among them were ones from Laois TDs Sean Fleming and Brian Stanley.

Deputy Fleming said it had "unknown risks" with a risk of "massive stockpiles creating unknown odours and serious health hazards" as material brought to Laois would be stored waiting to be spread on lands here. 

The plant would generate renewable gas by reprocessing 80,000 tonnes of organic waste on the site. The company refers to the waste as 'feedstock supply'.

The company, which owns big waste collection firm AES, has three sources of raw material for the so-called 'anaerobic digestion process': brown bin household waste, industrial biodegradable waste and agricultural residue (poultry litter).

It says there is a potential regional supply of 655,979 tonnes annual available. The largest supply available is brown bin waste but Born na Móna says it can draw on 270,000 of such waste annually.

They plan a Renewable Gas Facility, associated peat deposition area and external and internal road upgrades at Cúil Na Móna Bog within the townland of Clonboyne and Clonkeen, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

The total area of the proposed development is 17.34 Ha and includes a Renewable Gas Facility (6.85 Ha) with a Weighbridge and Weighbridge Office, Administration Building, Reception Building, Odour Abatement unit , Tank Farm containing tanks to digest and store the waste, a Gas Upgrade and Injection Plant, a Covered Digestate lagoon, a Surface Water Attenuation pond, a Wastewater below ground holding tank, Palisade site fencing, On-site electrical sub-station , Circulation yard area with 28 car parking spaces.

The company also seeks permission for a Peat deposition, external road upgrades including a proposed new roundabout, the upgrade of R445 road and local access road to existing site entrance  and internal upgrade of site access road.

Permission is sought for a period of 10 years and is a development that is for the purpose of an activity requiring an Industrial Emission Licence from the EPA. An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) has been prepared and accompanies the planning application which is on Laois County Council's website.