Victory for Gortadroma residents as gasification project abandoned

THE expiry of the contractural option given to a US-consortium five years ago to develop a gasification plant at Gortadroma in County Limerick has been welcomed.

Cadence EnviroPower (CEP) was selected by Limerick City and County Council in 2015 to develop a waste-to-energy power plant at the former Gortadroma landfill site that was set to produce up to 40 MW of renewable energy using solid waste as a renewable fuel.

At the time, residents in the wider West Limerick community and families living near the former landfill site expressed anger over the proposal for a state-of-the-art gasification plant to be built in their back yard.

Prior to signing the agreement for lease of the landfill site, which allowed CEP to proceed with applying for facility permitting and a waste licence, local councillors visited an operating gasification plant in France that generates electrical power using municipal solid waste and biomass as fuel.

The leasing of the site to Cadence EnvironPower was estimated to be worth as much as €120 million over 30 years with the potential to create 150 jobs.

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However, there was much opposition to the proposal. A group called Rage (Residents Against Gasification in Our Environment) was set up by residents opposed to the plant. Their concerns related to the gases in the environment that could be created by the plant, noise pollution, and the affect the plant could have on the value of their homes.

Welcoming this week’s news, chairperson of RAGE, Catherine Dowling warned that the fight is not over.

“The next phase we will undertake is to continue to work closely with Limerick City and County Council to ensure that any future plans for the site at Gortadroma are in direct consultation with the people of the community,” she said.

Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins congratulated the local community on their efforts.

”I wish to say well done to the local action group RAGE who developed and mobilised a huge community opposition to this proposed facility. I worked closely with RAGE and I know of the huge amount of work and time they put into this campaign,” he commented.