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Poolbeg developer appeals to Taoiseach

THE US developers behind the €350m Poolbeg incinerator have requested face-to-face talks with Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Covanta Energy has bypassed Environment Minister John Gormley, who has responsibility for the site, and wants to meet directly with the Taoiseach.

And Mr Cowen confirmed that he is "considering" the request.

Covanta has accused Mr Gormley of delaying the construction of the plant and making it uneconomical.

"It seems as if he's saying, in his role as judge, I know you're guilty but I'll give you a fair trial before I hang you," said Covanta Energy's vice president, Scott Whitney.


Mr Whitney said that the company has had experience with other countries at a local and departmental level, but a person "of authority" usually assisted.

"What we've seen in other places is, eventually, somebody in a position of authority steps up and says: 'We've got to cut through this Nimby (not-in-my-back-yard) perspective and do what's best for the broader community'," he said.

And Mr Whitney claimed other US firms looking to invest in Ireland were "dismayed" at the stalling of the Poolbeg project, which the company claims will create 600 jobs.

However, a spokesman for Mr Gormley said that the Government would not be "dictated to" by a private entity on its policies.

"The aim of Government is to have a waste policy that looks after the interests of taxpayers, consumers and the environment," the representative said.