Incinerator completion ‘can recoup €96m spend’

There is a good prospect of the four Dublin local authorities recouping €96.3m spent on plans to build a waste incinerator at Poolbeg if the project is completed, Dublin city manager Owen Keegan has said.

However, he added he was uncertain if the €600m facility would ever be built. If not, the bulk of the costs to date would not be recovered, the Oireachtas environment committee heard yesterday.

Mr Keegan — who only recently took up the role of Dublin city manager as successor to John Tierney, who now heads Irish Water — said he was concerned about the progress of the project. He expressed his determination to bring it to a resolution and to minimise costs.

Mr Tierney has been criticised for the high spend on the project, including payments of €32m to consultants originally projected to total only €8.3m.

Yesterday, Mr Keegan said the incinerator has remained “entirely consistent with regional, national and EU waste management policy”.

Completion of the incinerator was crucial for Ireland to meet its 2016 landfill diversion targets without the need to export waste, said Mr Keegan.

However, he said the project had been hit by several unanticipated delays, including legal challenges which were largely outside the control of local authorities.

TDs and senators heard that €96.3m has been spent on the project, of which €4.5m had been recouped from the public-private partnership company and €7.5m was received in grant aid from the Department of the Environment.


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