Indaver proposes to restart Poolbeg incinerator project

Waste management firm Indaver has proposed to take over the stalled project to build a controversial incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin, with no further cost to the taxpayer.

The Belgian-owned company, which is also involved in a long-running campaign to build an incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork, has offered to finance the estimated €300m cost of the Poolbeg facility if the current contract between Dublin City Council and US energy firm Covanta to build the facility is terminated.

Indaver has offered to buy out Covanta’s interest in Dublin Waste To Energy — the company set up to build the incinerator at the Poolbeg site. Alternatively, it has called on Dublin City Council, on behalf of the four local authorities in the capital, to reissue a tender for the project.

Plans for the incinerator, which is strongly opposed by local residents, have been effectively in limbo for the past two years as a result of problems relating to both the funding and scale of the plant.

It is estimated that about €120m, including €80m of taxpayers’ money, has been spent on the Poolbeg incinerator over the past five years, although no major construction has taken place.

Indaver said yesterday that it would, if allowed to take over the project, reduce its planned operating capacity from 600,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes per year.

John Ahern, managing director of Indaver Ireland, said its proposal was self-financing and would not expose the taxpayer to any further risk.

Indaver claims the council is now free to consider alternative plans to advance construction of the incinerator, as its contract with Covanta is no longer binding.

However, Mr Ahearne refused to confirm or deny that Indaver had approached Covanta directly.

A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said Indaver’s interest in the project highlighted the value and viability of the proposed incinerator.

Meanwhile, Covanta has said it remained working with Dublin City Council to resolve outstanding issues in order to facilitate the resumption of the Poolbeg project.

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