Thursday 8 December 2016

Former Bord Na Mona executive to head up Poolbeg incinerator

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 04/04/2015 | 02:30

An artist’s impression of the Poolbeg plan
An artist’s impression of the Poolbeg plan
John Daly, the new general manager of Dublin Waste to Energy

A Former senior executive at Bord Na Mona has landed the top job on the development of the controversial €500m Poolbeg incinerator project.

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John Daly served as the head of the Resource Recovery unit at the semi-State energy company from 2013 before being appointed as the general manager of Dublin Waste to Energy.

It is the company that is overseeing the building and operation of the plant on behalf of Covanta, the US firm contracted to build and run the project.

A spokesman for Covanta did not say whether the position had been advertised publicly, but said that Mr Daly had been selected following "quite an extensive search".

A spokesman for Bord Na Mona declined to comment on Mr Daly's departure from the company.

Mr Daly was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Dublin Waste to Energy will function as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Covanta and will be fully funded by the US company.

As general manager of the company, Mr Daly will be responsible for overseeing the remaining development and construction for the incinerator and the day-to-day management of the facility when it is up and running, which will include the management of approximately 100 employees on-site. He started in the role last week.

Mr Daly previously held a senior leadership role at buildings materials and energy firm Kingspan, one of Ireland's largest companies, as well as serving as the managing director of the Irish arm of French waste management giant Veolia.

In a statement on the appointment Mr Daly said: "This is a landmark development in state-of-the-art waste management for the Dublin region, and for Ireland. The project will deliver a long-term sustainable waste management solution which will divert post-recycled waste from landfills, generate renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gases, all while providing a meaningful boost to the economy."

The senior vice president and head of corporate development with Covanta, Matthew Mulcahy, added: "We are delighted to welcome John to the Covanta team.

"He has worked as a senior executive at a range of environmental businesses and he brings a wealth of relevant experience."

The Poolbeg incinerator has been dogged with controversy since its inception and has seen its costs hit roughly €100m to date including a total spend of €52m on the project site, which was last estimated to be worth just over €6m.

Work recently began on the facility which will have the capacity to burn 600,000 tonnes of waste a year. It is expected to start operations in the second half of 2017.

Covanta is to spend almost €500m developing the project, with approximately €100m already spent by the four Dublin local authorities.

It was revealed earlier in the year that Government auditors cannot account for €10m overspend on the project. Dublin City Council spent €22m on relocating an existing business in order to facilitate the construction of the incinerator, despite budgeting just €12m for the project.

The Local Government Auditor said two external reports commissioned by Dublin City Council fail to adequately explain the reasons for the budget overrun.

The project has also been consistently opposed by local councillors, who passed a motion last year calling for the council executive to abandon the project.

Irish Independent

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