Poolbeg incinerator to be built

Sam Griffin

Construction work is finally set to begin on the controversial Poolbeg incinerator that was first proposed over 17 years ago.

US firm Covanta has announced it is now ready to move forward with the state-of-the-art €500m waste-to-energy facility, which will generate renewable energy from landfill waste to supply 80,000 homes.

The plant will create more than 300 construction jobs and will take around three years to build. Around 100 people will be employed at the facility when it is completed in 2017.

The incinerator is funded by €375m in third-party project financing, with a further €125m from Covanta.

More than €30m of Covanta's total investment has already been spent on development costs and pre-construction activities.

The construction of the plant has been met with strong opposition from Dublin city councillors who were furious they had no say in green-lighting the project.

It was also the subject of a European Commission investigation.

Covanta vice president Matthew Mulcahy said: "The facility has been subjected to some of the most rigorous technical and regulatory approvals imaginable and it will outperform requirements of its Environment Protection Agency (EPA) licence."

He said a Community Gain Fund has also been set up - and the company will donate more than €10m a year during construction and another €600,000 annually thereafter.