Work will begin next month on a controversial new waste-to-energy incinerator designed to generate power for 20,000 homes.
The €130m burner in Carranstown, Co Meath, will start taking rubbish in early 2011, feeding power directly into electricity grid.
The plant will be run by management company Indaver burning around 200,000 tonnes of household waste a year from across the north east.
John Ahern, Indaver managing director, said today it was a significant step forward in meeting the country’s energy needs.
“We now enter a new period where our economy and our environment can realise the benefits of waste to energy,” he said.
“Rather than bury our waste, now we will generate a new source of energy.”
The project, and other incineration schemes in the country, have faced massive opposition, with campaign groups warning over the environmental impact of burning rubbish.
Indaver successfully fought a number of challenges to the plan and the company insists there are 400 similar facilities across Europe reducing the need for landfill sites.
Around 60 people will be employed at the site when it is up and running while 300 workers will be involved in the construction.