Positive signs for Gortadroma gasification plant

by Alan Jacques

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Cllr Ciara McMahon
Cllr Ciara McMahon

SINN Fein councillor Ciara McMahon predicts that the proposal for a €190 million gasification plant at the former Gortadroma landfill site could be “one of the most positive economic forces in the area”.

The joint bid for the lease on the Ballyhahill site to develop a gasification plant from Cadence EnvironPower (CEP) will create an estimated 120 new jobs. The US bidders are proposing to convert 365,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste on an annual basis into syngas at the Gortadroma site if their bid for the landfill lease is successful.

Speaking at this month’s Adare-Rathkeale municipal district meeting, Cllr McMahon cautioned, “We need to see one of these plants before we sign anything.”

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“I have family half a mile away. I am intrigued about how this is going to pan out. It could change a lot of lives, but we need to get it right,” Cllr McMahon told council members.

Director of Adare-Rathkeale municipal district, Tom Gilligan, said the economic aspects of the bid were huge and needed to be “grasped as quickly as possible”. A visit to a gasification plant is also being organised for local councillors and community representatives.

“We are under pressure from CEP to get this up and running,” said Mr Gilligan.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Sheahan (FF) said the local communities needed to be consulted and included in any delegation to visit an operating gasification plant.

Mr Gilligan reported to councillors that local communities raised environmental issues at their meeting with the Council, but otherwise saw the CEP bid as an “opportunity”. A draft agreement is being drawn up, he revealed.

“The signs are very positive for the project. We haven’t received any negative feedback,”  said Mr Gilligan.