Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten has today welcomed the decision to allow a power station in the midlands continue operating until 2030.
Edenderry Power Plant in Co Offaly has been granted permission by An Bord Pleanála after An Taisce and Friends of the Irish Environment lodged appeals with the body.
Concerns had been raised about the potential for up to 300 job losses if the plant were closed.
Minister Denis Naughten said that the decision has implications for other Bord na Móna facilities.
“At the moment, Edenderry is burning about 50% biomass in the power station – that has implications for both Lanesborough and Shannonbridge,” he said.
“And what we hope now with this decision is to develop a sustainable local biomass industry that outlives these peat power stations.”
SIPTU also welcomed the An Bord Pleanála and stated that the move should also result in further investment in two other power plants in the midlands.
SIPTU Organiser, John Regan, said: “The An Bord Pleanála decision announced today comes as a great relief to our several hundred members who work at Edenderry Power Ltd and related businesses, and their families.
“A failure to grant planning permission for the continued operation of the plant would have had a devastating effect on the economy of the midlands.
“This decision also has a major impact on the future of other power generation plants in the midlands as it accepts that the hybrid model of creating energy through the use of both peat and biomass, in operation in Edenderry, is in line with environmental protection legislation.”
He added: “The ESB and Bord na Móna must embrace this ruling and immediately commence investment in the power stations in Lanesborough, County Roscommon, and West Offaly Power, County Offaly, to bring them into line with this hybrid model.
“Today’s decision and this further investment we believe will safeguard up to 2,000 jobs at the plants and in related activities.”