Saturday 20 December 2014

Poolbeg is abandoned – but could still cost up to €160m

Published 04/03/2014 | 02:30

An artist’s impression of the proposed Poolbeg Incinerator
An artist’s impression of the proposed Poolbeg Incinerator

DUBLIN City councillors have voted to abandon the controversial Poolbeg incinerator project – but have been warned it could cost €160m to do so.

No building work has yet taken place on the site.

City Manager Owen Keegan has said that if the project was terminated, it could cost up to €160m.

He added that no decision had yet been made on whether to proceed with the waste to energy project, with the EU investigating two complaints in relation to it.

Mr Keegan said that when the two complaints were addressed, there would then be a full and open discussion on the matter at council level.

Councillors passed a motion calling on the audit committee to agree to publish the capital consulting report on the Poolbeg project.

FUNDING

Councillor Nial Ring called for the immediate cancellation of the Project Agreement with Covanta, the company behind the project at Ringsend.

"Recent reports now suggest that the project will cost €500m, €150m – or 43pc – more than originally thought," he said.

There was also strong criticism among councillors about the mounting costs relating to the development.

However, the taxpayer would not have to pick up the extra cost, as the private sector partner to the project with Dublin City Council would pay for the work.

US company Covanta has secured the funding needed to build the plant.

Meanwhile, Dublin City councillors last night voted to change the city development plan to facilitate the redevelopment of ESB's Fitzwilliam Square headquarters.

The company is seeking to demolish the offices designed by Sam Stephenson and Arthur Gibney in the 1960s and replace them with new offices, with double the capacity of the existing building.

The scheme did not comply with the development plan policy – that the Georgian facade of the 16 buildings demolished to make way for the headquarters about 50 years ago be reinstated.

The ESB had to secure a variation by the councillors of the development plan to allow it to be considered by planners.

Despite some opposition to the proposal, a vote was carried last night at a council meeting, with 29 councillors in favour and 13 against.

Irish Independent

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