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US company to foot extra €150m bill for Poolbeg incinerator

THE controversial Poolbeg incinerator is now expected to cost €500m – a jump of an extra €150m.

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

US company Convanta has secured the funding needed to build the plant and construction on the incinerator is expected to begin when all the approvals are in place.

The council said Covanta had put in place a "funding package which is acceptable to the Dublin local authorities".

"The project agreement has been renegotiated to reflect the new funding package and the removal of the 'put or pay' clause in the original project agreement," it said. The clause would have meant the local authority would be liable for any shortfall if the incinerator was not used.

The council added it was awaiting the outcome of complaints to the European Commission from residents regarding State aid and procurement rules, before further work on the project starts.

A spokesman for Covanta, meanwhile, said construction on the incinerator would begin when all the approvals were in place, adding it had secured funding

The decision on whether construction can go ahead is likely in late June with construction to begin in the autumn.

Earlier this week, Dublin City Council, which is developing the plant on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, confirmed that it would be spending €620,000 on the project up to the end of June.

This figure will cover site security and monitoring along with professional advice and other costs.

Already €96m has been spent on the project including payments to private consultants but now Dublin City Engineer Michael Phillips said an EU Commission complaint was the "only hurdle" remaining to stop construction.

"We would hope to get closure on that by the end of this quarter," he said.

CONSTRUCTION

"We would like a decision by the end of April and would like to start construction in the early autumn.

"The cost will be €500m. That's the cost when the contractor went out to cost it and it's just the way the market is."

Mr Phillips explained the ''put or pay clause had been removed following a High Court decision which meant the council was not entitled to direct private companies to use any waste disposal facility.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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