More than 200 jobs have been announced for Ireland today.
CPL Industries, a manufacturer and wholesaler of smokeless solid fuel, has given the go-ahead for a 142-job, €22m plant for manufacturing low-smoke coal in Foynes, Co. Limerick.
The company has also announced €15m is to be spent on developing pyrolysis units for transforming waste and biomass into raw materials for low-smoke coal. This investment will create a further 60 jobs, up to 40 of which will be at Foynes.
It will bring total employment levels at the company in Ireland to just over 200 by 2018.
The Co. Limerick plant will be the second largest solid fuel production facility in Europe, and "has the potential to become a low-smoke fuel hub for Northern Europe".
It will produce smokeless coal from biomass materials, such as olive stones and crops from Irish farms including miscanthus and straw from rape seed crops.
CPL Industries’ CEO Tim Minett said: “We announced our plans for this investment in 2013 and this was very much contingent on delivery of a carbon tax relief (for products with minimum biomass content) as well as a Smokeless Ireland designation.
“With the carbon tax derogation announced in last year’s budget due to be brought into legislation shortly, the Smokeless Ireland designation was the missing piece in the jigsaw. The announcement by Minister Kelly last month has now put that in place.
“This was initially a North-South initiative but I compliment Minister Kelly and his Department for having the foresight to press ahead and declare a ban on smoky coal products for the heating season 2017. The carbon tax initiative introduced by Minister Noonan has given us the market certainty that we needed.”